The Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports today detailing the financial state of the programs, and the picture is increasingly grim.
The following is a statement by the Co-Chairs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Judd Gregg:
Numbers don’t lie, and demographics don’t either. The Trustees’ reports show in black and white what we all already know – Social Security and Medicare are running out of reserves.
The latest projection shows that Medicare Hospital Insurance will be insolvent in 2026, Social Security Disability Insurance in 2032, and the Social Security retirement program in 2034.
On a combined basis, the Trustees now show Social Security is already running deficits, even including interest, and the Social Security trust fund will deplete its reserves by 2034. At that point, Social Security will not be able to make scheduled payments in full and all beneficiaries will face an across-the-board benefit cut of 21 percent, no matter age or need.
Social Security and Medicare face significant funding challenges that soon will become funding crises. The longer we wait to fix these programs, the more severe any adjustments will be and the less time will be available for policymakers to phase in solutions and for workers to prepare.
Policymakers must not wait until the 11th hour to fix Social Security, and instead they should work together – through the regular process or a bipartisan commission – to develop a comprehensive plan to make Social Security solvent for the next 75 years and beyond.
Meanwhile, they should aggressively and continuously pursue improvements to slow the growth of Medicare and overall health spending.
Nearly all Americans rely on these important programs – we cannot let them fall into a fiscal spiral.