On November 2, 2015 the President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which dramatically changed Social Security’s future treatment of spousal benefits. I say “future” because the bill included important grandfathering provisions. I know these provisions very well because I may have had a hand in getting them added to the bill.
Check out this list of Social Security columns and you’ll find one I wrote on October 27th entitled “Proposed Budget Bill Would Have Devastating Effects On Millions’ Social Security Benefits.” A draft of the new Social Security provisions was made public on Sunday, October 26, 2015. When I saw the draft, I immediately wrote my column, which appeared on PBS NewsHour’s website the next morning. Later that day, the grandfathering amendments were added to the bill. I was subsequently told by several people in the know that my column had pushed Congress to add its grandfathering clauses.