Trustees Reports Show Social Security, Medicare on Path to Insolvency

Jun 5, 2018

NEW YORK —  Michael A. Peterson, Chairman and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today following the release of the 2018 annual reports of the Social Security and Medicare Trustees:

“These reports drive home the urgent need to ensure that the critical Medicare and Social Security programs are sustainable into the future. Medicare’s largest program will become insolvent in 2026, just 8 years from now and 3 years sooner than forecast just a year ago.  Social Security will become insolvent in 2034, resulting in an immediate, across-the-board cut of 23% for all retirees. As an ominous sign of its financial deterioration, this year the program will pay out more than it takes in, which will continue every year until it’s no longer solvent.

“Social Security and Medicare are essential health and retirement security programs that are relied upon by millions of Americans. Lawmakers have an obligation to reform and strengthen them for the long term. 

“The drivers of these solvency challenges are well-known: an aging population and rising healthcare costs.  Many solutions are available that could be phased in gradually and fairly.  Today’s Trustees report should be the latest wake-up call for our elected leaders to take action.”

Today’s report from the Board of Trustees found:

  • The retirement portion of the Social Security program will become depleted in 2034. At that point, the program would only be able to pay 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
  • The disability insurance portion of Social Security will become depleted in 2032 and would only be able to pay 96 percent of scheduled benefits thereafter.
  • This year, the total cost for the Social Security program is anticipated to exceed total income (including interest) for the first time since 1982.
  • Medicare’s Hospital Insurance program will become insolvent in 2026 and unable to cover all costs going forward, three years earlier than reported just a year ago.

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