Social Security saves scores from poverty, Census finds

"We know these programs are unsustainable in their current form," House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' MORE (R-Ohio) told Meet the Press on Sunday.

He added that is was time "for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems." 

Some on the right have argued for increasing the retirement age or privatizing the program so it could reap a better return when or if the stock market returns to a path of more stabilized growth. 


But a recent report from the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees found the new healthcare law has improved the strength of the programs, saying it is expected to pay full benefits for the next 30 years.

Still, Social Security has had trouble adjusting payments for inflation. In January, recipients did not receive a cost-of-living increase.

Without the benefit, the elderly would become more susceptible to poverty. The program keeps 13 million of them from being poor, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). 

"Social Security reduces elderly poverty dramatically in every state in the nation," the CBPP states. "Without Social Security, the poverty rate for those aged 65 and over would exceed 40 percent in 42 states."

Pomeroy, who chairs the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, last month introduced legislation that would provide a one-time $250 payment if there is no inflation adjustment to Social Security this fall.

He and the other Democratic lawmakers later today will report on what they are hearing from seniors in their districts about the program. They will also commit to protecting Social Security from calls to privatize it.