April 22, 2020

Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds Remain Strong, According to Annual Trustees Report

Now is Time to Act to Strengthen Both Systems

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the Trustees reports issued today on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds:

“Social Security remains strong and solvent with enough money to cover all payouts and expenses until 2035, and the Medicare Trust Fund for hospital care has sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2026. The projections for both are unchanged from last year.

“While this report did not fully account for the current economic crisis, our Social Security and Medicare systems have weathered tough financial times before. Retirees have always received the full benefits they have earned. There is no reason for that to change, if we act to strengthen the system now.

“Today’s economic crisis demands action to strengthen both Social Security and Medicare. It is not the time to weaken them with dangerous schemes such as payroll tax cuts that will starve the system, or even diverting money from the Trust Funds to pay for other government expenses.

“The best way to strengthen Social Security is to lift the cap on earnings subject to the  6.2% payroll tax, which is currently $137,700. People earning hourly wages pay a higher percentage of their income into Social Security than millionaires and billionaires. That is outrageous.

“To strengthen Medicare, Congress must take real action to lower the cost of prescription drugs, including requiring Medicare to negotiate lower prices for consumers and taxpayers. Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs while multinational pharmaceutical corporations rake in billions in profits. Drug prices continue to go up with no end in sight, harming both seniors and the Medicare system.

“Americans have earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits through a lifetime of hard work and will rely on those benefits even more in the coming decades. We can’t lose the opportunity to strengthen these important programs.”

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Contact: David Blank, dblank@retiredamericans.org

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