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New Analysis: Social Security, Medicare Finances Will Worsen with Inaction

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Washington, D.C.– Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer, the last two public trustees for Social Security and Medicare, have conducted a review of the 2017 trustees’ reports and concluded that both programs face substantial financing problems that will worsen without legislation to address the issue.

“Lawmakers’ current posture of inaction with respect to Social Security and Medicare finances is clearly untenable,” they say in the newly released A Guide to the 2017 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Reports.

For the past two years, the public trustee positions have gone unfilled. As the most recent holders of these positions, Blahous and Reischauer have partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center to provide independent analysis of the trustees’ reports.

“Both programs face substantial, certain, and worsening financial challenges that grow more difficult to resolve with each additional year of delay,” Blahous and Reischauer said.

“The window of opportunity for closing these shortfalls using traditional policy approaches is rapidly closing, threatening the income security of economically vulnerable Americans. Further delay will almost certainly lead to outcomes considered undesirable by both sides of the American political spectrum,” they said.

“Prompt attention to the task of repairing Social Security and Medicare finances is vital to the interests of beneficiaries, taxpaying workers, and the general federal budget, in addition to serving the programs’ strength, efficacy, and financial integrity,” they conclude.

Blahous and Reischauer will discuss their findings today during a panel discussion at “An Issue for All Ages: Retirement in America” being held at the Bipartisan Policy Center at 10 a.m. ET. The event will stream live on BPC’s website.