From the Alliance for Retired Americans.
Social Security’s Finances Remain Strong, Annual Trustees Reports Show
The Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds released their annual reports on the programs on Tuesday. The reports show that Social Security remains strong and solvent with enough money to cover all payouts and expenses until 2034, while the Medicare Part A Trust Fund for hospital care now has sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2026.
In a news release responding to the report, Mr. Fiesta said that the best way to strengthen Social Security is to lift the cap on earnings subject to the 6.2% payroll tax, which is currently $142,800. If Congress removes this cap on contributions by the wealthiest Americans, Social Security benefits can be expanded and the program can be strengthened for the future.
Mr. Fiesta also noted that Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could save billions of dollars each year by holding insurance corporations providing Medicare Advantage Plans accountable. “These wealthy corporations made commitments to deliver health care services at a lower cost per beneficiary than traditional Medicare. Their failure to do so cost the Medicare Trust Fund $7 billion in 2018 alone.”
The Trustees noted that Medicare Part D prescription drug costs continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation, leading Fiesta to reiterate that Americans pay the highest prices in the world and Congress must act now to lower those costs. He called again for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for consumers and taxpayers, and then pivoted to the TRUST Act.
“It’s critical to strengthen Medicare and Social Security without breaking the sacred promise made to current and future retirees,” Fiesta stated. “The TRUST Act, S. 1295 and H.R. 2575, introduced by Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI), which some in Congress have suggested incorporating into legislation to raise the debt ceiling, paves the way for cuts to both of these earned benefit programs.”
“Congress must not hide behind special committees and closed doors, without public input, while it determines the future of Social Security and Medicare,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance, in reference to the TRUST Act. “Any changes that Congress makes to the benefits Americans have earned after a lifetime of hard work should be discussed and debated openly, so the public knows where their elected officials stand.”