Washington, D.C. â€” A new Institute for Policy Studies report analyzes proposed Social Security cuts and their potential impact on individuals at the top and the bottom of the health industry.
On the top end, the report focuses on the CEOs of CVS Caremark, the nationâ€™s largest drug retailer, and UnitedHealth Group, the nationâ€™s largest health insurer. Both men are members of the Business Roundtable, which is pushing for an increase in the retirement age to 70 and a new method of calculating inflation known as â€śchained CPI.â€ť
Currently, Larry Merlo of CVS Caremark has $46 million in employer-provided retirement benefits, while UnitedHealthâ€™s Stephen Hemsley has accumulated $18 million. If their proposed reforms are adopted, Merlo and Hemsleyâ€™s retirement incomes would decline by a small amount â€” an estimated 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively.
By contrast, the report shows that a typical home health aide, Rhonda Straw of Pennsylvania, would likely lose nearly 16% of her retirement income under the reforms. Like millions of Americans, Straw is likely to depend almost entirely on Social Security during her retirement years.
CVS Caremark and UnitedHealth are also active in the â€śFix the Debtâ€ť campaign, a heavily funded corporate lobby group that is also advocating for cuts to Social Security and reductions in the corporate tax rate.
â€śItâ€™s easy for CEOs with mega-million-dollar retirement funds to demand cuts to Social Security,â€ť said Scott Klinger, a report co-author and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. â€śTheyâ€™ll be enjoying their country clubs, while Americaâ€™s already shamefully high poverty rate among the elderly will increase.â€ť
This is the third Institute for Policy Studies report on the â€śFix the Debtâ€ť campaign. The report A Pension Deficit Disorderrevealed that the average CEO members of that campaign enjoyed $9 million in their personal retirement funds, while many of them were underfunding their worker pension funds.