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NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today following the release of the 2023 Social Security and Medicare Trustees reports:
“These new Trustee reports make clear that when it comes to the future of Social Security and Medicare, doing nothing is simply not an option.
“If lawmakers fail to act on Social Security, within a decade all current retirees would face a 23% automatic cut, reducing the average annual benefit by $6,000 and growing every year. In only 8 years, Medicare faces an automatic cut to providers that could affect more than 77 million beneficiaries.
“Politicians who promise not to ‘touch’ these programs are leaving seniors with a false sense of security, because doing nothing puts them in serious jeopardy. And there are many established reforms that exempt current beneficiaries from changes. So the truth is that the best result for current seniors would be to implement well-planned entitlement reform, because it preserves these critical programs through adjustments that don’t negatively affect their own retirement. Furthermore, timely reform is also good for the next generation because it addresses the significant long-term risks to these programs and reduces the growing debt that currently burdens their future.
“Elected leaders who truly want to help seniors should share with voters the many reasonable and fair revenue and spending options that are available. For Social Security, the reforms could include a balanced mix of additional revenues, benefit modifications that protect the most vulnerable, and a phased-in increase in the retirement age. And there are myriad solutions available to lower costs in the Medicare program and increase revenues devoted to it.
“Ultimately, ignoring these Trustee reports won’t make our nation’s entitlement problems go away, it will just make them more difficult to fix down the road. As Congress debates the debt ceiling and this year’s budget, everything should be on the table. Lawmakers have a valuable opportunity to stabilize these cornerstone programs, while bolstering our nation’s fiscal and economic outlook at the same time.”
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