Senators say fixes to disability insurance not enough

Senators say fixes to disability insurance not enough

Two senators are urging the chamber's finance leaders to make fundamental fixes to disability insurance.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOPINION | 5 ways Democrats can win back power in the states Trump's Democratic tax dilemma Manchin eyed as potential pick for Energy secretary: report MORE (D-W.Va.) are asking for reforms to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) that will protect the program from running out of money.

The senators wrote in a letter Thursday that SSDI fixes in last year's budget agreement were mere Band-Aids for the program's dire solvency issues.

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"A good faith effort needs to be undertaken ... to address the problems facing the program in total," wrote Lankford and Manchin in the letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

"We must work to strengthen this program so that it continues to be financially strong for the individuals who are truly in need."

Lankford and Manchin cited issues with the SSDI application process, overlaps with federal programs, persistent fraud and overpayment.

The federal government spent $882 billion on Social Security and Medicare alone in 2015. The Congressional Budget Office announced Monday that federal deficits are expected to grow by $100 billion this year, the first increase since 2009.