Earlier today, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, sent a letter to President Obama following his Administration's failure to submit a proposal, as required by law, to address Medicare's financial insolvency.
Ranking Member Sessions stated: "Faced with an approaching debt crisis, the president's priority should be to meet his legal and financial obligations as the country's chief executive. Failing to do so only further undermines economic confidence, worsens the conditions for job creation, and accelerates the bankrupting of Medicare. A big part of the reason we are in this mess is because of Washington's failure to budget honestly and play by the rules. It's time for a change. I hope the president will finally meet his legal duty to respond to the Medicare warning. The requirement is critically important because it recognizes that presidential leadership is necessary when Medicare is at risk. The Medicare trustees have sent their warning--will the president take action? The House of Republicans have set forth a plan for reform--should the president not provide his plan?"
Chairman Ryan added: "The Medicare Trustees continue to ring the alarm bell, and for the third year in a row, President Obama has failed to respond. Seniors, working families, and future generations cannot afford such irresponsible leadership. Republicans in Congress continue their efforts to save Medicare--offering solutions that protect those in or near retirement from any changes, while offering a strengthened, personalized Medicare program that future generations can count on when they retire. It is time that President Obama and his party's leaders upheld their legal obligation to offer solutions and their moral obligation to protect the health and economic security of America's seniors."
Note: The Obama Administration has again ignored a legal requirement--known as the "Medicare Trigger"--that calls for the Administration to submit a proposal to Congress to shore up Medicare's alarming fiscal imbalance. Under the requirements of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, if the Medicare Trustees determine the program faces a significant funding shortfall, a fast-track procedure is set in motion, requiring the president to submit a proposal that addresses Medicare's imbalance within 15 days of the date upon which he submits his next budget. Last year's warning should have resulted in a proposal from the president within 15 days of this year's February 14 budget submission.