As a retired Social Security call center employee, I remember every December through January, we were swamped with complaints with respect to Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) increases vs. Medicare Part B premium increases.

Based on the Consumer Price Index, the Social Security Administration did its part in increasing the upcoming payment checks. However, Medicare (CMS) would appear and would swallow up SSA increases by increasing Part B premiums.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The following is a chart of the COLA increases vs. Medicare Part B increases:

The tele-service representatives would take the burden of the complaints, and callers would even blame us with harsh comments. My personal response to the complainants was for them to please consider contacting their congressional representatives and complain to them and demand changes.

Your voices and public demand matter. The Social Security Administration and employees were not at fault.

The elderly and the low-income people were the most impacted.

Ernest Garcia

Rio Rancho