*This post was originally posted on the Hill's Congress Blog.
by Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH)
We’ve been listening to warnings about the looming Medicare and Social Security funding shortfalls. With the latest Trustees Report, indicating that insolvency is expected years earlier than we previously thought, the need to act is even more immediate. We’re already paying out more hospital benefits in Medicare than we take in. The problem is right in front of us, not years down the road. Tough decisions need to be made, decisions that might not be politically popular.
That’s why for the third consecutive Congress I am supporting a bill that would create a commission that would take the politics out of the reform process. Just like the Base Closing Commission, the Saving America’s Future Economy (SAFE) Act, would create a non-partisan panel whose task would be to come up with recommendations to reform Medicare and Social Security, to make sure we can fulfill the promise of Medicare and Social Security for our children and grandchildren. Their recommendations would be considered by members of the House and Senate and then receive an up or down vote.
Just like realigning our nation’s military was necessary to create the force we need for the 21st century, reforming Medicare and Social Security is crucial to ensure future generations receive benefits and the cost of these entitlements don’t overtake our entire federal budget. The time to act is now, the longer we wait, the tougher reform becomes.