WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, chaired a Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday to consider the nomination of Charles P. Blahous III and Robert D. Reischauer as Social Security and Medicare Trustees.
Senator Coats chairs a Senate Finance Committee hearing
Coats offered the following remarks during the hearing:
“The trustees play a vital role in overseeing the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, and I believe we should welcome nominees with experience of the trust funds who will be able to execute their respective duties on day one.
“The trustees also provide important information used by policymakers. For example, the most recent Social Security and Medicare Trustees report highlighted the urgency of addressing our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.
“As the trustees have repeatedly pointed out, if we are to save Social Security and Medicare and ensure they are available for future generations, we must make common-sense reforms to the programs.
“If we fail to act, they will both be insolvent within about 18 years – likely affecting those at and near retirement.
“These programs consume more and more of federal revenues each year, which squeezes out funding for every other federal program and agency. This year alone, Social Security and Medicare are expected to consume 46 percent of all federal revenues.
“By 2026, they will consume about 58 percent of all revenues. This is simply not sustainable.
“Further, the combination of retiring Baby Boomers, longer life expectancies, and fewer workers to financially support each retiree will make it increasingly difficult to sustain these programs.
“Again, as the trustees repeatedly have told us, the longer some try to pretend that Social Security and Medicare are not quickly headed towards insolvency, the more painful the reforms will need to be.
“I believe it is our responsibility to take the necessary steps to save Medicare and Social Security, rather than force some of the most vulnerable Americans to suffer the consequences of our inaction.”