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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summers: Social Security Overhaul Likely

Saying that Social Security reform is on the agenda is not the way to get the elderly on your side for health care reform:

Overhauling Social Security on the Agenda, Summers Says, by Edmund L. Andrews: About the same time that President Obama was at a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire, pitching the benefits of a health care overhaul, one of his top economic advisers was fielding questions about what might come next.

Lawrence Summers ... told a conference of economists in Washington on Tuesday that President Obama would probably start addressing the needs of Social Security before the end of his term.

“Over the course of the president’s term, the president will, I am confident, address Social Security,” Mr. Summers said in a response to a question at a conference of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Mr. Summers said the top priority in overhauling Social Security would be to make sure that people could rely on their benefits. ... Mr. Summers seemed intent on signaling that Mr. Obama’s idea of “reform” would be to strengthen the program rather rather than to partly privatize it.

But Mr. Summers said the big cost problems for the government are in health care. Reducing the growth of Medicare costs by just a few tenths of a percent per year, he said, would over a period of decades save enough money to fill the projected shortfall for Social Security. ...

Why announce this now? Will 'cut health care costs to save Social Security' work as a message?

    Posted by on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 02:34 PM in Economics, Social Security | Permalink  Comments (32)


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