Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

SHOCK REPORT: Medicare and Social Security Face Grim Outlook

Jun 22, 2016
Press Release
Medicare Trust Fund to Run Dry 2 Years Earlier than Previous Estimate

Buchanan Calls for Bipartisan Action to Save Vital Programs for Seniors

WASHINGTON — Rep. Vern Buchanan, citing a new government report warning that Medicare and Social Security will run out of money within the next 20 years, said bipartisan solutions must be found to save these popular and vital programs.

The government's trustees for Medicare and Social Security presented their outlook for the programs as part of an annual review released Wednesday.

Buchanan discussed the solvency issue with the CEO of AARP in his Washington office Wednesday morning. He and Jo Ann Jenkins agreed that the sooner Congress and the president act to strengthen the programs, the better.

“Social Security and Medicare are two of the government’s most successful programs in history and need to be preserved for current and future seniors,” Buchanan said. “It will take bipartisan agreement by both parties to reach a meaningful solution.”

Medicare’s main trust fund will run dry by 2028, two years earlier than previous estimates, according to the trustee’s report. The Social Security trust fund will run dry by 2034, the same as expected last year.

With more than 217,000 individuals receiving retirement and disability payments, Florida’s 16th District is home to the second-highest number of Social Security beneficiaries in the country – and there are also nearly 220,000 Medicare recipients in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

“Every year, the fundamental programs that protect our seniors slide closer to insolvency,” Buchanan said. “Fixing these programs should be a top priority and this report shows why action is needed sooner rather than later.”

The report also outlines a projection that health care costs are going to rise at an accelerating rate of 5.4 percent annually over the next 5 years, up from a 2.4 percent annual growth rate over the five years prior.

More than 49 million Americans collected Social Security retirement benefits last year, 10.8 million received disability benefits and 55.3 million were covered under Medicare, according to press reports.

Congressman Buchanan will attend a hearing of the Social Security Subcommittee on the release of the report today at 2PM. He is a member of the subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the Social Security program.