Fiscal Commission proposal lacks real support because it lacks real solutions

Social Security Works Washington released this statement following today’s vote by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

President’s Obama’s Fiscal Commission fell short of the required 14 vote requirement needed to send their proposal to Congress for one simple reason: it didn’t have broad public support, and the members of the commission knew it.

“It’s absurd to think that cutting Social Security benefits and Medicare is going to help deal with the deficit,” says Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans president Robby Stern. “Social Security benefits are earned by American workers, and don’t contribute one dime to the deficit. And cutting Medicare reimbursements would dramatically diminish preventive care – and only add to increasing health care costs.”

Currently, Social Security benefits amount to about 5% of GDP, and are expected to rise only about 1% by 2030 – holding steady well into the future. By contrast, health care costs are projected to rise to nearly 20% of GDP by 2080, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Source: Congressional Budget Office

The Commission’s proposal to cap Medicare reimbursements would simply shift more health care costs to consumers – without addressing the underlying problem of skyrocketing health care costs.

“The Commission plan sidestepped an opportunity to deal with a root cause of the deficit, and would leave seniors and vulnerable Americans stuck with the bill,” says Robby Stern. “Their plan addresses only the symptoms, not the cause – so I’m not surprised they didn’t have the votes.”

Social Security Works Washington is committed to working with Washington’s congressional delegation to defend and strengthen Social Security. We will be in touch with our representatives in Congress to educate them about how they can ensure Social Security and Medicare continue to provide benefits that guarantee American workers and seniors are economically secure and healthy – not just during this recession, but for decades to come.

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