Social security is running out even faster than previously projected, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic and subsequent coronavirus recession made Social Security and Medicare less viable over the long term, according to a new report from its trust operators. Social Security pays benefits to 65 million while Medicare covers 60 million older or disabled Americans. The two programs account for over 40% of the federal budget.
At this point, the latest projections mean that Social Security will be unable to pay full benefits by 2034 instead of 2035.
While the pandemic has been politicized for the last 18 months – social security insolvency has been politicized for years with no real solutions offered. Democrats say they will protect the programs, but haven’t offered any explanation as to how that will be done. Meanwhile, Republicans have said in the past that changes need to be made to the program.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to safeguarding these programs and ensuring they continue to deliver economic security and health care to older Americans,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Even when the economy bounces back fully from the coronavirus pandemic, questions will remain about the sustainability of both Social Security and Medicare, as costs rack up, and health care gets more costly for Americans.