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BPC Encourages Swift Consideration of Public Trustees to Boards of Social Security, Medicare Trust Funds

The Bipartisan Policy Center commends President Biden for nominating Patricia Neuman and Demetrios Kouzoukas to be public trustees for Social Security and Medicare. We urge the Senate to engage in full, fair, and prompt consideration of these nominees. Acting swiftly will ensure the boards are fully staffed for this year’s trustees reports.

By law, the boards of Social Security and Medicare must have two public trustees to provide oversight and management of these vital federal entitlement programs. In addition to the four trustees who are members of the administration, the public trustees serve as objective experts to report on the status of the trust funds to Congress and the American people, while also providing credibility for the annual reports. But since 2015, these two positions have been vacant.

The public trustees not only play a crucial role in representing the public interest but also in urging Congress to take legislative action, especially at a time when the trust funds face large financial shortfalls. The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which provides for the Part A benefit and a portion of Medicare Advantage plans, is projected to deplete in 2028. Addressing this shortfall is of utmost importance to the 64 million Medicare beneficiaries, the health care system, and taxpayers. Similarly, the Social Security retirement trust fund is estimated to be depleted in 2034, at which point retirees could face an across-the-board 25% reduction in monthly benefits. Few federal programs warrant as much attention from the public and Congress as Social Security and Medicare. Each program serves more than 60 million Americans, many of whom depend on their benefits as their primary source of income and health care. We urge the Senate to promptly consider the nominations, as these positions have been vacant for far too long.

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