Senior citizens from all over California formed a "flash mob" Thursday at the State Capitol, where they also knocked on the doors of every lawmaker to urge their support for a pair of bills they say will vastly improve their lives.
One of those bills would increase Supplemental Security Income payments, which have been cut in the past five years, from 90% of the Federal Poverty Level to 112%-- a difference of about $200 a month.
Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK
Hene Kelly, legislative director for the California Alliance for Retired Americans, said even though the payments are now less than a thousand dollars a month, those on SSI can't get food assistance. "We used to give them a special stipend," Kelly said, "Now, we give less than any other state gives, and they are not eligible for food stamps. This is not the way to spend your senior years," she added.
The other bill this group wants passed is the single-payer health care bill, which Kelly says would mean seniors could get quality care and wouldn't have to purchase supplemental insurance.
That bill, which would cost an estimated 400-billion dollars, just passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee.