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Lew: Obama ‘Ready’ to Tackle Entitlement ‘Shortfalls’ but Privatization ‘Unacceptable’

Report warns that Medicare’s “projected date” of “depletion” is 2026 and Social Security would reach the same fate in 2033.

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Nicholas Ballasy

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June 2, 2013 - 7:28 pm
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While Social Security and Medicare trustees call for “legislative corrections” to the programs, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said President Obama is “ready” to address the problems but opposes any “privatization” to Social Security.

“As the trustees’ reports have been indicating for a while now, these programs face long-term challenges. In fact, the projections in this year’s report for Social Security are essentially unchanged from last year and those for Medicare have improved modestly,” said Lew on Friday at an event announcing the release of the annual reports from the Boards of Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.

“The president recognizes how essential reform is, and he’s determined to work on a bipartisan basis to put Social Security and Medicare on a stronger footing. For Social Security, the president is ready to address future shortfalls, and he has put forward a set of principles for reform. These principles underscore the need to find common ground to extend the life of the program and while making it clear that changes to Social Security that involve deep benefit cuts or privatization will be unacceptable.”

Without reform, the report warns that Medicare’s “projected date” of “depletion” is 2026 and Social Security would reach the same fate in 2033.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared at the press conference alongside Lew, Social Security and Medicare Public Trustees Charles Blahous, Robert Reischauer and Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security and a trustee.

“Medicare continues to face considerable challenges, including an aging population. So we must continue to build on the progress we’ve made in the last few years, and that’s why the president’s 2014 budget lays out an additional $371 billion in savings to Medicare over the next decade,” Sebelius said.

“If those proposals are enacted by Congress, they will put Medicare on an even sounder footing for our children. Today’s trustees report is the latest demonstration that with smart reforms, we can secure Medicare for the future without slashing benefits.”

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All Comments   (11)
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"the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund – a measure of its long-term fiscal health – has been cut by more than 70 percent since enactment of the health care law"

70% less to pay to hospitals for treating seniors!
It does not look like correction and fixes. It is a screeching stop.

Did hospitals now agree to provide services for free?
Or are they saying that until now medicare trustees misused at least half of the funds?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama is full of shi(r)t, and everyone with half a brain and a bit of common sense knows it. Social Security isn't government money anyway. It's OUR money. We have been forced to give said money to government, therefore, when it's our time to NEED it, it should be there for us. It's basically an escrow, with the USG as the trustees. If said money is NOT there, then it is incumbent upon the trustees to PUT IT BACK or be criminally liable. Demand a full accounting today, AT THE POINT OF GUNS IF NEED BE.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Every one of our elected officals are just like alcoholics... Until an alcoholic first admits they have a problem , then is willing to ask for help , then is willing to accpet help NOTHING WILL HAPPEN OR CHANGE. that is the defiinition of washington.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not 1 person democrat or republican is willing to admit they cannot manage anything involving our tax dollars. remember ... Absolute power corrupts absolutely. they are all corrupt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's funny - "Privaization" of Medicare or Social Security is off the table but it's OK for Secretary Sibellius to shake down private medical organizations for "contributions" to help implement Obamacare.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well at least they are admitting there is a problem and it's a lot closer than they were claiming last year. Prior to the 2012 election the party line was "everything is A-OK" and that "depletion" would not take place until around 2050. As to "reform" that can only mean one thing - Pumping vast amounts of cash that we don't have into these systems. Naturally anone who questions this policy will be pilloried as "anti-elderly" or "pro-illness."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"he’s determined to work on a bipartisan basis to put Social Security and Medicare on a stronger footing." - Lew
"“If those proposals (the ones in the POTUS's 2014 budget) are enacted by Congress, they will put Medicare on an even sounder footing for our children. Today’s trustees report is the latest demonstration that with smart reforms, we can secure Medicare for the future without slashing benefits.”

The narrative is already set as we see from the two snippets above:

1. Obama is "bipartisan" and more than willing work on reform of both programmes.
2. If Obama's programs are "enacted by Congress" - the "do nothing and extremely partisan Republicans - and only Obama's programs; we'll all live happily ever-after.

The hypocrisy of these clowns is astonishing. Nobody knows anything about anything but; Obama. We've seen how this works for several years now. No mas!!!!!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...privatization will be unacceptable."
Of course; neither the left nor this administration trust the people to make their own decisions. Cynicism and hypocrisy at their finest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"“This is 2 years longer than projected last year. Their annual report also shows that the long run actuarial deficit in the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund – a measure of its long-term fiscal health – has been cut by more than 70 percent since enactment of the health care law,” wrote Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy and Gene Sperling, the director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy on the White House blog."
------------------------------------------------------------

Of course you can save 70%! When you reduce allowable payments for goods used and services rendered to the hospitals - and tighten up on who can qualify for what type of treatment you can claim a 70% cut!

The other 'benefit' of this policy is it reduces the numbers of old people sucking on the gubmint teat.

What a brilliant policy!

Hmm...didn't Hitler - err maybe it was Stalin - eh! - never mind! I must be a racist tonight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, BHO wants to address the problems of Medicare & SS, so long as they will not actually fix anything.

What a magician!

TERRY
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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