Levin, McDermott, Becerra Statements on 2016 Medicare and Social Security Trustees Report

Jun 22, 2016 Issues: Social Security, Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Xavier Becerra (D-CA) today responded to the release of the 2016 Medicare Trustees Report and 2016 Social Security Trustees Report:

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Levin: “The Medicare Trustees Report makes clear that Medicare is on strong financial footing. Thanks to the role the ACA has played in strengthening Medicare, spending on health care continues at historically low rates. The report also illustrates an issue which seniors know all too well, which is high prescription drug prices. Congress should reject Republican efforts to dismantle Medicare by raising the eligibility age or privatizing the program.

“The Social Security Trustees Report reinforced the importance of this critical program for seniors, Americans with disabilities, and their families. Congress must address the long-term shortfall Social Security faces so beneficiaries today and in the future can continue to receive the benefits they have earned through hard work. Today, most employees no longer have traditional pensions through their jobs, and many Americans are unable to save enough on their own for a dignified retirement. That is why it is more important than ever to oppose Republican efforts to cut Social Security benefits. Instead, we should expand Social Security to meet the realities and needs of today.”

Health Subcommittee Ranking Member McDermott: “Today’s Medicare Trustees Report provides further evidence that the Affordable Care Act has successfully extended the solvency of the hospital trust fund by more than a decade. Health costs continue to grow slowly and the Medicare program will remain on sound financial footing for years to come. However, there is still more work to do as we implement MACRA and transition toward a system that rewards value and efficiency in health care. In addition, the report raises serious concerns about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, which contributed to an increase in Part D spending last year that was nearly 50 percent higher than GDP growth. This should be a wakeup call to Congress that it’s time to get serious about prescription drug prices and work to ensure the long-term sustainability of the health care system.”

Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Becerra: “Social Security is the foundation of retirement security for working families and should not be subjected to scare tactics that make it seem ‘broken.’ Social Security currently has a surplus of $2.8 trillion in its Trust Fund. Just last year we heard claims that Social Security would have to cut benefits for disabled workers by 20 percent. Democrats fought to prevent these harmful cuts, proving that Social Security could deliver the benefits Americans had earned.”