Donald Trump ran for president as a different kind of Republican, promising to protect Social Security and Medicare. In fact, it was the centerpiece of his public campaign. Donald Trump's Director of the Office of Management is now saying there is a possibility that Social Security and Medicare could see cuts in next year's budget. (R) Paul Ryan had already been pushing for changes to the program for years which is rather odd considering his mother received social security for Ryan following his father's death. Medicare will already be affected by The American Health Care Act in that the provision that forced companies to barter for the lowest priced medications to keep costs affordable was removed.

And with a plan to block grant Medicaid in the works, millions of disabled Americans who receive SSI will lose out as well. And all of this is under the guise of "saving the program." There are other things that could be done that would not include deep cuts or taking away much-needed services.

Some retirees should be exempt from getting full benefits

Some retirees get pensions on top of Social Security benefits. Others get two pensions, or a military pension and a private sector pension. People who retire at the age set by the federal government get full benefits with no income restrictions, so they can draw their full pension or pensions, work, and/or draw dividends from investments. For persons who retire or become disabled before retirement age, they lose $1.00 in benefits for every $2.00 earned.

For persons getting lower dollar amounts, it wouldn't take long to lose all their benefits and be forced to live well below the poverty level. Those of retirement age who receive fewer benefits would suffer the same. If changes were made so that retirees receiving huge sums of money from pensions received less in Social Security benefits, depending on their total income, it would free up money for other seniors and retirees.

Raising wages retirees can earn from jobs before losing their benefits would also mean they could live better, or as well as they had been and could get by with a lower benefit amount.

Making COLA fair would allow those on Social Security to live better.

COLA for has always been figured using third quarter Consumer Price Index numbers.

Unfortunately, the data is drawn from across the entire economic spectrum and has translated into smaller COLAs in recent years. There was no benefit increase in four different yrs. There have been complaints from senior and retiree advocacy groups that the way the COLA is calculated is unfair. The consensus is that the price of oil should be removed, especially considering the fact that oil prices have been dropping for years. The inclusion of oil prices wipes out increases in the cost of food, housing, and utilities. Millions of seniors and retirees, along with persons with disabilities do not own a vehicle or drive. And seniors lost food benefits with their COLA which canceled out any increase.

With Trump and Republicans at the helm, COLA could soon be figured under the chained CPI, so that only two or three months of the Consumer Price Index would be 'chained together,' increasing the odds that the COLA would either disappear altogether or remain very low. One small thing that could be done immediately would be to stop the COLA from lowering food benefits.

Cutting benefits would devastate America's most vulnerable citizens.

For many seniors and the disabled deep cuts in their benefits, SSI, Medicare, and Medicaid would be devastating. Block granting Medicaid would let states choose where the money goes. For those who born with physical and mental constraints, changes to Supplemental Social Security benefits and cuts to Medicaid would be hit the hardest.

Many of these adults live in independent living pay rent with their SSI and food benefits provide their meals. Cuts to benefits would translate into cuts in personnel in independent living housing and programs, and also mean less on-site nursing staff. Those persons should be exempted from any and all cuts. Many seniors would lose their homes since social security allows them to pay their property taxes, Medicare cuts would raise their premiums and their co-pays forcing many to choose between food, paying their utilities, or paying rent or property taxes. Others would do without much-needed medication or do without medical care. Medicare, if left alone, would allow seniors to continue to access affordable medications, and if Supplemental Medicare benefits were left alone lower income seniors and the disabled could get some of their premiums paid.

Then they would be left with enough money to pay for monthly living expenses. As the United States governing body, Republicans should be the caretakers of the elderly and the disabled, and instead of the harbingers of death and homelessness.