National Review Online
By Marco Rubio
August 5, 2014
Last week’s trustees report on the financial health of Social Security and Medicare underscores a fact that everyone in Washington is aware of but few are willing to do anything about: Both of these crucial safety-net programs are on a path to insolvency.
According to the report, Medicare’s hospital trust fund will be exhausted by 2030. Social Security’s retirement program will remain solvent until 2034, but its disability trust fund is slated to run dry in just two years.
I am currently 43 years old. This means that if nothing changes, by the time I reach full retirement age at 67, both Social Security and Medicare will have been insolvent for years.
The good news is, if we act soon, we can make changes that will save these programs without having an impact on current seniors or those who are approaching retirement. Personally, I would never support a change that affects people who currently rely on Social Security and Medicare, like my mom.
Both of my parents were blessed to come to a country where a life of hard work meant they would be rewarded with a dignified retirement. In the last months of his life, Medicare allowed my father to receive the palliative care he needed to die with dignity surrounded by the people who loved him.
In recent years my mother’s health has declined as well. Medicare pays for the care she now receives that has not only extended her life but also preserved its quality. And Social Security continues to provide for her financial needs as she lives with my sister and her husband.
Despite the importance of Social Security and Medicare and the imminence of their financial insolvency, Washington has been unwilling and unable to put partisanship aside to address the issue. So earlier this year, I proposed a series of reforms to save these programs that I hope all Americans can unite behind.
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