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Democrats’ Plan for Medicare: Deny, Delay, and Do Nothing

June 23, 2011

During a Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing focusing on the solvency of Medicare, two Medicare Trustees testified that findings in the 2011 Medicare Trustees report reinforce what has long been widely acknowledged:  Action must be taken quickly to prevent Medicare from collapsing.  However, despite comments by the Medicare Trustees urging Congress to act sooner, rather than later, Democrats attending the hearing denied that there was any need to act.  Instead, the refrain from the Democratic members of the subcommittee:  deny, delay, do nothing.

Charles Blahous, Ph.D., Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare:
“The Medicare program faces real and substantial financial challenges.  It will best serve the interest of the public if these financial changes are made at the earliest possible time.”
Charles Blahous tells Congressman Peter Roskam:
In talking about the Medicare cuts that await if Congress does not act, Medicare Trustee Blahous said, “…[I]n 2024 specifically [the Medicare benefit cut] is 10 percent, but then that increases and then it becomes about 25 percent by the mid 2040’s.”
Robert D. Reischauer, Ph.D., Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare:  
“Further legislative changes have to be considered by the Congress.  The sooner those are enacted the less disruption there will be for taxpayers, beneficiaries and for providers.”

The 2011 Medicare Trustees report is a warning call – without action, Medicare faces certain insolvency, and if Congress doesn’t act seniors will face benefit cuts or increased costs.  Congress and the Obama Administration must work together to ensure that Medicare will continue to serve America‚Äôs seniors for generations to come.  But we need Congressional Democrats to join the discussion.