Published: January 16, 2013
Audio of the press conference releasing the recommendations can be found here.
A transcript of the press conference can be found here.
Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers (CEOs) of leading U.S. companies, today released a detailed plan to strengthen and modernize Social Security and Medicare that CEOs believe must be part of any comprehensive economic growth and deficit-reduction strategy.
“America can preserve the health and retirement safety net and rein in long-term spending growth by modernizing Medicare and Social Security in a way that addresses America’s new fiscal and demographic realities,” said Gary W. Loveman, Ph.D., former professor of economics at Harvard Business School, and current Chairman, CEO and President of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Chair of BRT’s Health and Retirement Committee. “We are calling on President Obama and Congress to look at our plan and enact a package of gradual changes that will provide economic and personal security for generations to come.
“By tackling these issues now, Congress can send a clear signal to American workers, investors and the world that our leadership has the courage to make tough choices that will ensure a stable and growing economy,” said Randall L. Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc., and Vice Chair of BRT’s Health and Retirement Committee. “The facts are clear: If we want future generations to have access to Social Security and Medicare, America can no longer afford to wait. The time to act is now.”
BRT CEOs undertook an extensive review of federal entitlement programs and found that Medicare entails significant inefficiencies and providers are not rewarded for high-quality, cost-effective care. Similarly, while the Social Security system has provided a reliable level of retirement security for decades, demographic changes, including the ongoing retirement of the 80-million person strong “baby boom” generation, have rendered the system unsustainable in its current form. Today, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security make up 42 percent of the federal budget. By 2020, they are projected to account for half.
BRT’s plan embodies a gradual approach that will modernize the programs while preserving benefits for current retirees and those nearing retirement. They would stabilize America’s long-term finances while preserving the health and retirement safety net for future generations of Americans. BRT CEOs believe these recommendations must be included in any meaningful economic growth and deficit-reduction strategy. Doing so would clear the decks for more robust economic growth and job creation.
“We are committed to seeing these recommendations enacted,” said Loveman. “We will be meeting with Members of Congress and Administration officials and urging them to include entitlement modernization in a balanced package of debt-stabilization measures.”
For Social Security reform, BRT recommends steps that would ensure the solvency of the program for the next 75 years:
For Medicare, BRT’s plan recommends:
Business Roundtable - Entitlements Press Conference
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – equal to 61 percent of U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay $182 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate nearly $500 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
BRT companies give more than $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.