Finance

Budget chairman warns of consequences if entitlements are not reformed

Greg Nash

The chairman of the House Budget Committee warned Wednesday that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security all need to be reformed in order to help people in the long-term.

“The danger to beneficiaries is not coming from those of us trying to improve the programs; it is coming in a few short years when Medicare and Social Security go bankrupt. Or, for those on disability insurance, as soon as next year,” Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said at an event hosted by the American Action Forum.

“By the time a child born today is able to vote, the Social Security trust fund will be insolvent. When today’s preschooler enters college, the Medicare trust fund will be insolvent,” he said.

{mosads}In coordination with the Budget panel, Price has launched a project that challenges Americans to submit proposals by the end of August that would reform entitlement programs, including educational assistance, financial support programs and food stamps.

Price suggested there is a lack of urgency both on Capitol Hill and across the country to take action.

“It is clear to me and certainly to others that the critical mass that we need in order to move forward doesn’t exist, at this point, in Congress,” said Price, who added that it also doesn’t seem to exist across the United States.

Price said he’s purposely isn’t proposing legislation yet because he wants to hear first from the public.

Earlier this year, Price released a budget blueprint that proposed a premium support system for Medicare that would not take effect until 2024. The budget also proposed converting Medicaid into block grants.

It did not touch Social Security but said a bipartisan commission should study the entitlement program’s problems and then submit proposals to Congress.

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