Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on June 24, 1974 · Page 7
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 7

Carroll, Iowa
Issue Date:
Monday, June 24, 1974
Page 7
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SS Check Delays to Be Ended By William J. Scherle Fifth District Congressman Spinning, wheezing and whirling, the computer age is upon us. In the last half year, the blind, disabled and elderly have been caught up in the tangled gyrations of these mysterious robots. It all began with the valid observation that Social Security was bypassing too many people it was intended to serve and that state public assistance programs inadequately met the financial needs of recipients. So Congress drew up a blueprint to house all state assistance programs — from Anchorage, Alaska to the Florida panhandle — under one roof. Christened Supplemental Security Income, the plan was to construct a floor income for all qualified persons, regardless of the state in which they resided. Both federal and state money would be used to oroduce the gold-colored checks which would bring some financial relief through a monthly base income of $146 for single persons or $219 for couples as of July 1.1974. Since SSI's original conception. Social Security offices across the country have tackled a massive job. From hundreds of district offices, vital statistics poured into the main computer bank in Baltimore where individuals were evaluated for eligibility. Special computer programs were designed to consolidate the intricately different state plans. But problems developed immediately. Bogged down with massive inputs and frequently insufficient data, computers spit out names of SSI applicants in a frenzy while analysts scurried to discover why so many were rejected. Foremost in their minds was that months of delay meant suffering for those anxiously awai'ing SSI. In our own state, betweeen 2,000 and 3,000 people waited up to six months for notification. But when payments did not arrive, the Iowa Social Services began issuing emergency checks to take up the slack. Yet, the waylaid eligibility posed an even greater problem. In Iowa. SSI designation also guaranteed medical coverage, so those under a doctor's care or living in a nursing home Times Herald, Carroll, la. -j Monday, June 24, 1974 / were frantic to receive Medicaid cards. Patients were mortified to find their payments to drug stores and physicians delinquent, while others were forced to postpone needed surgery. Some nursing facilities were nearly bankrupted by delayed payments up to $2,000 per patient. Requests for help continue to pour into our Congressional offices and we have joined forces with both Iowa Social Services and Social Security nationally to resolve these crises. Meanwhile, administrators in Baltimore have pledged that we will be out of the woods by the end of June. Once the computer system is revolving properly and the backlog eliminated, some 22,000 lowans should find this SSI automation working for instead of against them. ALL COOPED UP The Senate laid a gigantic egg last month in what could be called "the great chicken payoff." It approved $10 million to feather the nest of six huge Mississippi poultry producers whose birds had been contaminated. Nearly 8 million chicks were condemned after FDA discovered excessive pesticide in the birds they had tested. Because the contaminant — dieldrin — had been found in the poultry feed oil, FDA cried foul and began an intensive investigation. It checked everything from boxcar transportation of the poultry supplement to the chicken chow-line. Evidently, the pesticide is filtered out from higher distillates of soybean oil. with only pure grades intended for animal consumption. But the normal food chain had been run amuck by high demand for the oil, which induces rapid growth in chickens. FDA's initial inquiry hinted that Mississippi feed suppliers substituted low-grade soybean industrial oil for the more highly refined feed-grade oils. Before the investigation had been completed, the Senate flew in with more than chicken feed to prop up a half dozen corporations which had lost their broilers. In the House, opponents of the chicken bill say they won't allow the public to be plucked — taxpayers shouldn't have to cover the losses of big business. Such legislation would be a costly precedent for other industries which experience contamination. The Congress has already rejected similar payments to cattle and hog producers. Furthermore, since FDA's examination is not yet final, premature payment would be a half-cocked idea — it's just possible that the chicks were insured. The House is taking a bird's-eye-view of this poultry raid on the treasury. Astute Members of Congress say the Senate's chickens have come home to roost. DOUBLE GOLD BOND STAMPS EVERY TUESDAY a FRESH WHOLE FRYERS SUMM SAVINGS' I OPEN 24 HOURS EVERY DAY 7 DAYS AWEEK B & H QUALITY GROUND BEEF FARMLAND SMOKED NISSEN G.B. 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