The facts about Social Security, Medicare may surprise you

While the era of “alternative facts” dawned in Washington last week, experts from across the ideological spectrum gathered in the capital for a review of real facts about our two most important retirement programs: Social Security and Medicare.

The annual policy research conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) focused on the group’s new report to the Trump administration and Congress on the future of all our social insurance programs – those that cover retirement, but also those that protect the disabled, jobless, impoverished poverty and frail.

NASI is a consortium of many of the nation’s top social insurance researchers. The new report includes input from 80 experts in the field with a wide array of ideological and political perspectives. It describes the challenges facing these programs and provides a menu of solutions reflecting a variety of ideological perspectives.

As such, it reflects a set of consensus facts that should inform the looming debates about the future of social insurance at a time when these programs certainly will be under assault from budget cutters.

The report is 200 pages long and covers much more than Social Security and Medicare – it also looks at long term care, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. But my Reuters column this week considers just a few key facts on Social Security and Medicare worth keeping in mind.

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