Before Obamacare "Glitch," There Was The Notch Glitch
Obamacare is not the first government program in which major implementation glitches had disastrous consequences for large numbers of beneficiaries. In 1977 changes that Congress made to the Social Security benefit formula created a major inequity in benefits that cost retirees tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits over their lifetimes. The seniors affected are among the oldest and most vulnerable today. Born during 1917 through 1926, and known as "Notch Babies," they received substantially lower benefits than other seniors close to them in age with almost identical work and earnings records. The name refers to the plunging "V" notch when benefits of Notch Babies are charted on a graph.
While Congress continues to discuss similar changes to the Social Security benefit formula today, Notch Reform remains a legislative priority for TSCL. TSCL estimates that 2.7 million Notch babies and their spouses or widows would benefit from passage of The Notch Fairness Act. The legislation would provide Notch Babies, born 1917 through 1926, $5,000 payable in four annual installments, or an improved monthly benefit. Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-7) introduced the legislation in the House where it has 17 cosponsors, and Senator David Vitter (LA) has introduced a corresponding bill in the Senate. TSCL continues to work for passage.