Time is Running Out to Save Social Security and Medicare

Today, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports on the state of the trust funds. The Trustees project that Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will be insolvent by 2031, Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will run out of reserves by 2033, and the theoretically combined Social Security trust funds will be insolvent by 2034. Upon insolvency, Social Security benefits will be reduced across the board by 20 percent under current law, while Medicare Hospital Insurance payments will be cut by 11 percent. Those reductions will grow to 27 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Read our preliminary analysis of the Trustees reports here. You can also register for our April 4th event on the Trustees reports here.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Social Security and Medicare are hurtling toward insolvency, and we only have a decade to secure these programs for America’s retirees. Yet many in Washington would rather weaponize these programs than save them.

Anyone who pledges not to touch Social Security is endorsing a 20 percent across-the-board cut in benefits. Refusal to fix Medicare means supporting major disruptions in health services.

We don’t have much time left to save these programs from insolvency. Today’s youngest retirees will be 70 years old when Medicare’s reserves are depleted and 73 years old when the Social Security trust funds run out. Under current law, Social Security and Medicare will both be insolvent by the time today’s 56-year-olds reach the full retirement age.

Medicare’s finances are slightly better than projected last year, while Social Security’s are slightly worse. But the underlying picture hasn’t changed – these vital programs face large and growing shortfalls that will require reducing costs, boosting revenue, or both.

As partisans and special interests continue to demagogue Social Security and Medicare for short-term political gain, they are putting our nation’s workers and seniors at risk.

It’s time for our leaders to take their heads out of the sand and put them together to develop real and lasting solutions to save Social Security and Medicare.

Read our preliminary analysis.

Register for our event, Checking in on the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds, on Tuesday, April 4 at 2 pm EDT.


For more information, please contact Kim McIntyre, Director of Media Relations, at mcintyre@crfb.org.