One of our nation’s most popular federal programs marks another year of success on August 14th. Social Security – the income security program for workers, retirees, people with disabilities, and their families – was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 86 years ago. But it’s been almost four decades since the program was last reformed. In 1983, Congress took action to shore up Social Security’s finances under the acute threat of insolvency. Fast-forward to the present. We are confronted with a looming shortfall in the program’s finances amid a growing demand to boost benefits. But bi-partisan action to strengthen Social Security has been elusive – despite the best efforts of some lawmakers to put forward solid proposals.
Since its inception, Social Security has been the foundation on which America’s retirement security rests. It has demonstrated its strength by paying benefits without interruption in good times and bad, during periods of recession and disaster and during recovery and healing. The program’s durability is demonstrated yet again in this year’s Trustees Report. With the ultimate course of the COVID pandemic still unclear, the report provides an important reassurance for working Americans and for seniors.
Americans who rely on Social Security can exhale for a moment now that the program’s Trustees have reported that the trust fund will remain solvent until 2034. That’s only one year earlier than projected in last year’s report.
Nearly 90% of the American public wants Medicare to be able to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma – including a majority of Republicans. Unfortunately, the will of the people is being thwarted not only by Republicans in Congress, who refuse to support Medicare price negotiation, but holdout ‘moderate’ Democrats.
There are many ways you can help preserve the legacy of Social Security and Medicare to ensure a decent quality of life for Americans. Petition drives, rallies and press events, telephone campaigns and community forums are some of the frequent activities we employ to help influence the policy agendas of Congress and the White House.