Statement by Foundation President and COO Michael A. Peterson on Social Security and Medicare Trustees' Reports

Michael A. Peterson May 31, 2013

"Today's reports by the Social Security and Medicare Trustees confirm that even as our economy is improving, we still face long-term fiscal challenges that must be addressed. The fact that Social Security and Medicare are in serious long-term jeopardy should be unacceptable to every American. How long will the Trustees have to sound the alarm before Washington finally wakes up and acts?

"The Trustees warn of 'mounting pressure on the federal budget' and tell us that future Social Security recipients will face sharp reductions in benefits unless policymakers take action to make the system sustainable. Medicare's Trustees make clear that Medicare will place a much larger burden on the federal budget in coming decades, despite the slower growth during the recent recession.

"Addressing the twin challenges of Social Security and Medicare is absolutely essential to providing security to future seniors, while maintaining America's ability to invest in economic growth and opportunity for tomorrow's workers. The Trustees state clearly that 'legislative changes are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers. If lawmakers take action sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.'

"Congress and the President should agree now on a bipartisan plan to improve the long-term outlook for Social Security and Medicare. A long-term plan can be implemented gradually, to protect economic growth and recovery today, while helping to ensure that Social Security and Medicare are strong and sustainable for the future."

For a summary of the 2013 Social Security and Medicare Trustees' Annual Reports, click here.

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