Social Security, Medicare safe from cuts until March

Thandisizwe Chimurenga | 1/16/2013, 7:50 a.m.

While an increase in longevity has been seen in the U.S. and other parts of the world overall, life expectancy has increased in general from age 47 in 1900 to more than age 78 today, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to Wallace’s research, wealth is not equally distributed and income has declined in the past year for African Americans and Asian Americans in the “Baby Boomer” age range (born from 1946 through 1964). This group also had the highest level of income decline.

Half of ethnic elders in the U.S. are in poverty or close to it, Wallace said, and they have the least amount of reserves to fall back on; they are the most impacted by economic uncertainties.

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., who represents much of South Los Angeles, expressed excitement about portions of last week’s fiscal deal that was reached with Congress, but she was also worried about its implications for many of her constituents.

“I remain very concerned about cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security that are important to many seniors across my district,” Bass said. “Included were cuts to services for diabetes, end stage renal disease and other illnesses disproportionately impacting seniors, and we need to look at ways to restore that funding.”

Thandisizwe Chimurenga wrote this article as part of the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship, a program of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.