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Actuaries: Priority on Health Reform and Retirement Security Signals Tough Choices Ahead
Date:2/26/2009

t is encouraged that addressing Social Security's and Medicare's long-term financial challenges are top priorities on the president's domestic policy agenda.

"Policymakers must enact comprehensive Medicare reform not only to restore the program's solvency, but also to improve its long-term sustainability by lowering the growth of total Medicare spending as a share of the federal budget and of the overall economy," Uccello said.

"There is no single solution. Viable options will likely require a shared burden among taxpayers, Medicare beneficiaries, and the health care industry."

Regarding Social Security, the American Academy of Actuaries said it will continue to urge policymakers to address the program's long-term actuarial imbalance now by increasing Social Security's retirement age, citing that the imbalance is partially attributed to increased longevity -- a demographic problem that requires a demographic solution.

"The present economic crisis highlights the importance of retirement security," said Tom Terry, the American Academy of Actuaries vice president for pension issues. "By making Social Security a top priority now, policymakers will ensure that they have a full range of policy options to choose from."

For more information or to schedule an interview with Cori Uccello or Tom Terry, please contact Andrew Simonelli, assistant director of communications for the American Academy of Actuaries, at 202.785.7872. For more information on the American Academy of Actuaries, please visit: www.actuary.org.

The American Academy of Actuaries is a 16,000-member professional association whose mission is to serve the public on behalf of the U.S. actuarial profession. The Academy assists public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on
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SOURCE American Academy of Actuaries
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