Monday, July 28, 2014

Statement on Social Security

Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 2014 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

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

Washington, DC - “The most important lesson from the 2014 Social Security Trustees Report is that Social Security has a large and growing surplus. Today's report projects Social Security’s cumulative surplus to be roughly $2.8 trillion in 2014, growing to about $2.9 trillion around 2020. The report reaffirms that, without any changes, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2033 and three-quarters of benefits after that, unchanged from last year’s report.

“The Medicare Trustees report reminds us once again that the Affordable Care Act is controlling health care costs. It is great news that the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by another four years to 2030. Attempts to repeal health care reform would only undo the progress we have made in controlling health care costs.

“Current and future retirees must be wary of those politicians who will use today’s Social Security and Medicare Trustees reports as political cover for radical changes that would put seniors, the disabled, and the families of deceased workers at risk. For instance, we do not need to cut Social Security to address the projected shortfall in the disability trust fund. Rather, we just need a technical adjustment. Congress should, as it has done multiple times before, simply reallocate income across these funds.”

“More and more politicians are actually advancing proposals to expand Social Security. One example, the Strengthen Social Security Act (S.567 and H.R. 3118), introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), would increase annual Social Security benefits by an average of $800. That is an improvement to our retiree system, and we support it.

“The 49th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing Medicare into law will be this Wednesday, July 30. That means next year, Medicare turns 50 – and the Alliance for Retired Americans intends to make sure Medicare is still strong then, and for our children, and for our grandchildren.”


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