ENTITLEMENTS: MYTHS VERSUS FACTS

7/19/13

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid together represent our nation’s compassionate commitment to the elderly. But before our nation can have an hones debate on now to fix them we must separate the myths from the facts.

MYTHS:
Making any changes to these programs will undermine our commitment to care for the elderly and those in need.
FACT:
Reform is the best way to insure that these programs survive for the long term.
MYTH:
We must make deep cuts to the programs, reduced benefits.
FACT:
It can be done through slight adjustments in payments benefits eligibility, administration, coverage options and program efficiencies with minimal effects on beneficiaries.
MYTH:
We may have a problem but there’s plenty of time to fix it.
FACT:
All major entitlements programs are projected to be insolvent in 20 years, the trust fund for social security disability exhausted in 3 years, Medicare part a in 13 years, social security will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2033.
MYTH:
These programs pay for themselves and don’t contribute to the deficit.
FACT:
Entitlements programs have almost never been self-funding. Medicare has had a cash shortfall every year except in 1966 and 1974. In 2011 is was $288 billion. Social security had a cash flow deficit of $58 billon in 2012. Entitlements spending also squeeze our investment in national priorities like defense, education, infrastructure, science and research.
MYTH:
We can solve the problem by raising taxes.
FACT:
It would take almost $40 trillion to make the programs solvent for the next 75 years. This would cripple our economy and stifle the growth we need to support our nation’s social safety net.

Source—chamber of commerce, Thomas donohue

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