U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, asked Comptroller General of the U.S. and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Gene Dodaro to continue monitoring and calling for improvements in delivery of trustees reports on the financial status of Medicare and Social Security trust funds to Congress and the American people.
The Social Security Act requires trustees reports be issued each year, no later than April 1. The 2021 report has not yet been issued, and it is now 147 days overdue–the longest delay in the history of the reports since 1995. Senator Crapo asks Comptroller General Dodaro to continue monitoring the trustees report development process and lack of adequate notification to Congress and the American people when reports are expected to be delivered after the statutory due date is missed.
From the letter:
“This [late reporting] is especially troublesome given the massive amount of legislation contemplated by one side in Congress, in willfully partisan reconciliation exercises, that may impact important Medicare programs; given that there have not been public trustees participating in trustees reports development since mid-2015; and, given the unlawful firing by President Biden of the Senate-confirmed Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), which unnecessarily politicizes SSA and destroys the letter and spirit of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 [P.L. 103-296].”
“I urge GAO to continue monitoring the trustees report development process and lack of adequate notification to Congress specifically identifying when trustees reports are expected to be delivered to Congress by the Managing Trustee. To date, the notification process is at best woefully inadequate and at worst almost casually indifferent to the important information contained in the trustees reports regarding the financial status of the funds, which are currently facing eventual exhaustion.”
The Social Security Act provides that trustees reports on the financial status of various Medicare and Social Security trust funds are to be provided to Congress each year on April 1st, though that deadline seems not to have mattered in recent history. In his letter, Senator Crapo asks for recommendations from GAO for whether bylaws governing boards of trustees of the trust funds should be modified, or whether GAO recommends a legislative solution for flaws in the existing reporting process.