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Today, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports on the programs’ financing, showing that the future of these vital programs remain at risk. The Medicare Trustees project that the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, which finances Medicare Part A, would become depleted in 2031, an improvement from the projected depletion year of 2028 in last year’s report. The Social Security Trustees note that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund is expected to become depleted in 2033, one year earlier than last year’s report, but the same year as the Congressional Budget Office projected.
Driven by an aging population and rising healthcare costs, both programs are anticipated to continue spending more than they take in — resulting in both of those trust funds becoming depleted within the next decade. Upon depletion of the OASI Trust Fund in 2033, millions of older Americans would face a 23 percent cut in their Social Security retirement benefits; when the HI trust fund is depleted in 2031, payments to medical providers would be reduced by 11 percent. The reports make clear that the funds remain on an unsustainable path, despite many available options to improve their finances.
The good news is that it is entirely within policymakers’ control to shore up Social Security and Medicare and preserve them for the future. Doing so will not only protect millions of beneficiaries — and especially our most vulnerable citizens — but will provide stability and strength to our fiscal and economic outlook.
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