WASHINGTON DC (April 22, 2020) — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles "Chuck" Grassley today released the following statement regarding the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees’ annual reports. The projections and analyses in these reports do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Social Security and Medicare programs.
“It’s too early to tell what the effects of the ongoing pandemic might be, and projecting the effects would involve too much uncertainty at this point. Prior to the public health and economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus, growth in the economy, increased wages, and record employment stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — along with an end to the prior administration’s crippling regulatory agenda that choked the economy — helped Americans at work and in their retirement security. With bigger paychecks, more jobs, and increased pension values, Americans’ retirement savings are better-protected.
“While the strong economy and labor markets helped Americans across the board, Social Security and Medicare trust funds also benefited, and will continue to once economic activity resumes. However, it remains that those trust funds are not financially sustainable, and reforms are necessary to ensure stability and sustainability of the Medicare and Social Security programs.
“This highlights the importance of Congress acting on my bipartisan bill to reduce prescription-drug prices, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would save tax-payers $100 billion, as an initial step in making these reforms.
“As these reports show, the nation’s Medicare program will be in the red in less than a decade — by 2026 — and the Social Security’s combined disability and retirement trust-funds will be exhausted in 2035. With Social Security facing more than $53 trillion in unfunded future liabilities, it’s clear that work needs to be done to ensure that these programs can truly benefit future generations.”