Double Jeopardy: Seniors Facing Hardships Hit By Budget Cuts

While advocates for elders are decrying political proposals that would cut budgets "on the backs of seniors and the poor," Howard Bedlin of theNational Council on Aging(NCOA) says that's already happening.

Bedlin, NCOA's policy and advocacy chief, said in an interview that much of the media's attention to "drastic" proposals to reduce the national debt by House Republicans and the White House fails to reflect the deep cuts to seniors' program that have already been made in the 2011 budget.

The 2011 compromise budget, he said, includes stark reductions for seniors in such safety-net programs as low-income housing, home-energy assistance for those in extreme weather, and job training and placement.

Bedlin and other experts on aging are dissecting how the national budget crunch will impact older Americans at this week's Aging in America conference in San Francisco.

One in Three Seniors Is Economically Insecure

"One out of three seniors in the United States is economically insecure," Bedlin stated, living under twice the federal poverty line, or $22,000 per person. "Yet the public perception is that seniors are doing fine and not struggling," he said.


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