The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

David Blank,


Report Shows We Can Expand Social Security

Retirees Call on Congress to Strengthen Both Medicare and Social Security


The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding the Trustees reports on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds released today:

"Today's reports show once again that Social Security's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund is strong and solvent with enough money to cover full benefits and expenses until 2034, one year later than reported last year. Further, the Medicare Part A Trust Fund for hospital care now has sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2028, two years later than reported last year.

"The Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund, which pays benefits to people with disabilities, is no longer projected to be depleted within the 75-year projection period, a significant improvement from last year.

"Americans have worked a lifetime to earn the Social Security and Medicare they rely on, and should feel confident that those benefits will continue to be the bedrocks they have been. But it's time to strengthen both these programs for the future and expand benefits.

"Congress must act on two fronts to make that happen: lift the cap on earnings -- currently $147,000 -- subject to the 6.2% payroll tax, and lower prescription drug prices to stem their rapid growth.

"An expansion of Social Security benefits is critical to help seniors fight inflation, and H.R. 5723, Rep. John Larson's (CT) "Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust," would make that increase a reality for all beneficiaries by requiring wealthy Americans to pay payroll taxes on wages above $400,000. Seniors need Congress to pass this critical legislation.

"Seniors are also struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. The United States House of Representatives has already passed legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month for all Medicare beneficiaries, as well as many other Americans of all ages who need the drug to manage their diabetes. This is a common sense policy that is good for seniors and taxpayers, and it is past time for the U.S. Senate to follow suit.

"Despite these figures, Sen. Rick Scott (FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee that recruits and supports Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, released a plan this year that would sunset all federal legislation, including Social Security and Medicare, after five years. No one should accept this lie, and we will not stand for any cuts to the benefits we have paid for."

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization with 4.4 million members that advocates for retirement security for all Americans.