May 01,2006

Chairman Grassley Comments on the Annual Report of the Social Security and Medicare Trustees


TO: Reporters and Editors
RE: Annual report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees
DA: Monday, May 1, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, made the comment below
about the annual report of the Social Security and Medicare trustees.

Sen. Grassley was a principal author of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement
and Modernization Act of 2003, which created a prescription drug benefit and emphad
lower-cost preventive care. He has sponsored subsequent legislation to improve health care
quality and control costs, and through his congressional oversight efforts, Sen. Grassley has
worked to bring greater accountability to Medicare so taxpayers get a better bang for their buck
and beneficiaries receive quality health care. In previous years, Sen. Grassley has sponsored
legislation to extend the solvency of Social Security. He also has worked to ensure the credibility
of the annual trustees’ report on these important programs.

“A lion’s share of the federal budget is tied to mandatory spending for Social Security and
Medicare, and that’s even before the baby boomers tap into the social safety net when they reach
retirement. At some point Congress is going to have to get down to the difficult business of
restraining the cost growth of these programs. Social Security is probably the government’s most
successful program ever, and we need to preserve and sustain the health care security that
Medicare provides for generations to come. The trustees report makes clear that we should take
steps sooner rather than later on promising health care initiatives such as pay for performance
and transparency measures that both bring down costs and improve the program.”