President Trump’s campaign promise not to touch Social Security or Medicare may be on its way to the dumpster.
The President’s own party has released a House budget resolution containing a buried controversial provision that would all but force lawmakers and President Trump to take up Social Security reform some time within the next 12 months. The resolution also would put legislation on an expedited schedule for passage.
Under the House budget plan, a Social Security “reform trigger” would be pulled in any year the Social Security Trustees determine the 75-year actuarial balance of the Social Security Trust Fund is in deficit. That trigger has already been pulled. In their latest report, the Social Security Trustees say the combined retirement, survivors, and disability Trust Funds will exceed total income by increasing amounts starting in 2022 and will be depleted in 2034, well within the 75-year period called for in the budget resolution.
Under the resolution, Trustees would have until September 30th of the same calendar year to submit recommendations to the President for the changes necessary to achieve a positive 75-year balance. The resolution would require the President to submit legislation to Congress within 60 days of receiving the Trustees’ recommendations — the very sort of thing he promised NOT to do on the campaign trail.
Medicare is also in the cross hairs for massive changes. The budget resolution would increase the eligibility age from 65 to 67 and transition Medicare to a system of private insurers providing Medicare beneficiaries with premium subsidies to shop for their own health insurance — a system that sounds very much like Obamacare.
It is not clear how these budget measures will fare. Like health care legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare reform proposals will likely become the center of a ferocious political tug-of-war between moderates and conservatives. Get involved! Your emails, faxes, letters and phone calls to elected Members of Congress are more important now than ever.