The CPI for Seniors Act, HR 2016

HR 2016, The CPI for Seniors Act (CPI-S), would mandate the establishment of a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) specifically for seniors (individuals 62 years of age and older), that would indicate monthly changes in expenditures for consumption that are typical for seniors. It would finally establish a fair and accurate CPI-S that truly reflects the impact of inflation on older Americans, and do so in a timely and consistent manner. The current method for calculating the CPI is inaccurate for seniors and year over year under estimates the true impact of inflation for older Americans. (click here to learn more about the inaccuracies)

Clearly, it’s time for a change. The CPI for Seniors Act would require a large, significant sampling of seniors, not just a small, re-weighted sampling of the CPI-U (all Urban Consumers). It would also bring rural areas into the process, as rural areas have a larger percentage of seniors than do urban areas. In addition, the geographic areas, retail outlets, and sample items used in the sampling would actually represent those purchased and used by seniors, rather than those purchased and used by younger consumers. And, it would give health care and other costs the proper weight, reflecting the correct role they play in senior budgets. Seniors spend roughly twice as much as younger people spend on health care. Finally, it would require BLS to report its work to Congress in a timely fashion so up-to-date data would be available for timely decisions.