Hatch Statement on CBO’s Long-Term Budget Outlook

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said today’s Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget outlook further underscores the need for Congress to take up meaningful structural reforms to the nation’s entitlement programs – the greatest drivers of U.S. debt.

“This report further underscores the grave fiscal challenges plaguing the nation’s entitlement programs,” said Hatch. “As CBO makes clear, America’s fiscal path is unsustainable. Our social safety net is coming apart at the seams and unless Congress acts to implement concrete, structural changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, they won’t be there for future generations. The status quo is unacceptable. If we want to guarantee the solvency of these programs for our children and grandchildren, then we must act and we must act now.”

Today’s report detailed how spending for Social Security and the federal government’s major health care entitlement programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and subsidies for health insurance purchased through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are driving unsustainable spending growth that will cause the nation’s debt and deficits to rise over time to amounts, as a share of our economy, not seen since the years surrounding World War II.

CBO projects that under current law, over the next 10 years growth in federal spending, driven by growth in entitlement spending, will outstrip growth in revenues, leading once again to deficits above $1 trillion and federal debt as a share of the economy at levels not seen since the years surrounding World War II. 

According to CBO:  “Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences both for the economy and for the federal budget.”

Recognizing the fiscal challenges facing Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, Hatch has long fought to fix the nation’s broken entitlement programs to guarantee their long-term solvency for generations to come.

This Congress, Hatch has teamed up with his House counterparts to call on the disability community and other interested stakeholders to bring ideas to the table on how best to address the impending depletion of reserves in the Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund.  He has introduced a variety of bills designed to improve the administration and integrity of the DI program and has put forward five common-sense, bipartisan Medicare reforms as means of both shoring up Medicare for seniors and for bringing down the nation’s debt.