Thursday - August 10, 2017 3:29 am

No need to panic, says expert, after new report on Social Security and Medicare

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Funding in place at current benefit levels until 2029, 2034. 

Critics of Social Security and Medicare are pouncing on a new report from those programs' trustees.

The report warns of accelerating costs while revenues continue to shrink.

But Lisa Lamkins, from the AARP in Wisconsin, thinks the fears are a little overblown.

"Don't let...scary rhetoric make you think we have to do drastic cuts to in order to make the program solvent," Lamkins said. "We don't.

"We obviously know that both programs have some long-term shortfalls, but there's nothing in the newest report that sort of screams the sky is falling."

The report says, assuming no changes are made to either fund, Medicare can continue paying out at current benefit levels until 2029 and Social Security until 2034.

The key phrase there being 'no changes are made.'

"There certainly needs to be some tweaks, but we don't need to get drastic at this point," Lamkins said. "We would love to see, and we would love to work with Congress and the administration, to make sure that these, really vital programs continue into the future."

Lamkins predicts the issue may slowly move to the forefront soon.

"We haven't seen much focus on these as we have seen on the health care debate," she said. "I suspect though that we might actually hear a little bit more as we move into budgets and as we move into the issue of the debt ceiling."

Last modified on Thursday - August 10, 2017 5:56 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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