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  • 23Mar

    Next Up: Social Security

    From NYT

    WASHINGTON — Now that landmark legislation overhauling the health insurance system is about to become law, addressing Social Security’s solvency could well become the next big thing for President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

    Central to the health care changes are hundreds of billions of dollars in reductions in Medicare spending over time and expansions of Medicaid. As some administration officials acknowledge, that effectively takes those fast-growing entitlement programs off the table for deficit reduction just as Mr. Obama’s bipartisan commission to reduce the mounting national debt gets to work.

    That leaves Social Security, the other big entitlement benefits program and one that Mr. Obama has suggested in the past that he is willing to tackle. While its looming problems are not of the scale of those afflicting Medicare, it now stands as the likeliest source of the sort of large savings needed to bring projected annual deficits to sustainable levels, many budget analysts agree.

    And, they say, packaging future reductions in the retirement program that Democrats zealously defend with tax increases that Republicans typically oppose would have the makings of a grand compromise to shrink the debt.

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