Chairmen Brady, Tiberi, Johnson Respond to the 2017 Medicare and Social Security Trustees Reports

July 13, 2017 — Press Releases   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Board of Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds released their annual reports on the financial health of these important programs. This year’s reports found that:

  • The Medicare hospital program will not be able to pay full benefits in 2029.
  • Social Security’s combined Trust Funds will not be able to pay full benefits in 2034, at which point beneficiaries would face a 23 percent benefit cut if action is not taken.
  • The Disability Insurance program’s insolvency date is now 2028, 5 years later than was projected last year.

In response, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-TX) released the following statements:

“These reports are a glaring reminder that Medicare and Social Security – programs millions of Americans rely on for health care, retirement, and disability benefits – are in financial trouble,” said Chairman Brady. “Congress has taken important steps to put Medicare and Social Security back on stable footing, but we have more work to do to preserve and strengthen these programs for the future – including delivering a stronger economy through pro-growth tax reform and fixing our broken health care system. Chairman Tiberi and Chairman Johnson will continue leading our Committee’s efforts to address Medicare and Social Security’s challenges. We look forward to working with President Trump and his Administration on more solutions that will protect these important programs for generations to come.”

“Medicare is in need of serious and urgent structural reforms to put the program on a solvent path for current seniors and future retirees,” said Chairman Tiberi. “Delaying and waiting for the next generation to fix it is not a responsible option and will lead to unelected bureaucrats cutting payments for providers – a sobering possibility for the millions who rely on these services and treatments for their health care. Today, the Ways and Means Committee approved a number of solutions to strengthen and improve Medicare programs on a bipartisan basis. That work must continue. While this report shows minor improvements from last year, it indicates Medicare will be insolvent by 2029. Seniors and beneficiaries deserve more certainty. We have an opportunity to achieve long-term, substantive entitlement reforms and we must not let it go to waste.”

“Even with the encouraging news for the Disability Insurance program, today’s report is a sobering reminder of the real challenges Social Security faces,” said Chairman Johnson. “The American people deserve a fact-based conversation about the tough choices necessary to protect Social Security. I am committed to making sure Social Security is there for our children and grandchildren, just like it’s there for seniors and individuals with disabilities today.”

NOTE:
At 10:00 AM on Friday, July 14, 2017, the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Johnson, will hold a hearing to discuss the findings of the Social Security Trustees Report with the Social Security Administration’s Chief Actuary, Steve Goss. To watch the hearing online, click here.

SUBCOMMITTEE: Health    SUBCOMMITTEE: Oversight