APRIL 3, 1995 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 39
The White House Conference on Aging will convene in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 1995. For four days, delegates from around the country will discuss issues of importance to an aging American population.
Among the delegates will be four Pima County residents: Elder Law Issues Publisher Robert Fleming, PCOA Executive Director Marian Lupu, Univ. of Arizona Professor Theodore Koff, and former Social Security Commissioner Charles Schottland.
In previous Elder Law Issues, we have described some of the issues Arizona delegates wrestled with during the Arizona conference in January. Beginning with this issue, we will give you some insight into the issues that Arizona delegates thought important for the national agenda.
Issues on the Agenda
The Arizona conference dealt with five areas of concern for aging Arizonans. Those topic areas (more thoroughly described in previous Elder Law Issues) included:
- Financial and Income Security
- Health Care and Mental Health
- Elder Rights
- Long Term Care
- Special and Minority Aged Populations
Not surprisingly, many of the ideas and concerns developed by the Arizona conference had been discussed and debated in previous forums. A sampling of the Social Security proposals and recommendations from the Arizona conference:
Isolate Social Security from other budget items, to preserve the programs viability and deal with anticipated future demands.
Reduce the federal deficit or, in other words, improve the quality of Social Security investments by avoiding use of Social Security to subsidize debt costs.
Streamline the Social Security Administration itself as a way to cut costs.
Consider means testing Social Security, but only if absolutely necessary (two of five separate discussion groups at the Arizona conference adamantly opposed any consideration of means testing).
Raise the wage cap on taxable salaries to generate more revenues.
Educate Americans to the reality that Social Security is intended to be a supplement to other retirement programs.
Encourage healthy seniors to remain employed longer by removing the cap on earnings for recipients (one discussion group adamantly opposed this solution, believing that the program would be seriously hurt financially).
Beginning next issue, Elder Law Issues will capsulize conference recommendations in other areas.