In addition to increasing social security benefits by more than 50 percent since his administration took office, President Nixon signed into law H.R. bill #7445, effectively supplementing his previous actions by augmenting benefits by another 5 percent for nearly 30 million Americans in order to meet the rising costs of living. RN was determined to create a social security system that automatically provided a means of compensating for and protecting against rising inflation.
Congress approved RN’s proposal for an “escalator in benefits,” but in the interim between their decision and its enactment in January of 1975, he legalized H.R. bill #7445, thus protecting elderly Americans on fixed incomes.
The newly signed law also extended the Renegotiation Act of 1951 and reduced the disincentives for elderly Americans who wanted to work. Provisions in the bill increased from $2,100 to $2,400 the amount of money an individual could earn a year and still qualify for full social security benefits.
On July 11, 1973, President Nixon made assurances that his new program for the needy, aged, blind, and disabled, the Supplemental Security Income program, would increase the minimum assistance level from the federal government while preventing any reduction in income as a result of the change from the existing State programs to the SSI, but most importantly, it would provide a uniform coverage for needy individuals over the previously varied state programs.
Other provisions in H.R. bill #7445 ensured the continuation of coverage for individuals eligible for assistance under the Medicaid program for when the SSI program became effective.