The White House is required by law to tell Congress about how it will ensure Medicare's long-term solvency if official projections show a worsening in the program's long-term financing. That's the amount the Social Security's trustees said tax income alone could cover.
The U.S.is now closer to the insolvency of the Social Security than to the attacks of September 11.
Both the cost-of-living increase and the Medicare outpatient premium are not officially determined until later in the year, and the initial projections can change.
President Donald Trump says he won't cut Social Security or Medicare, but hasn't offered a rescue plan for the long run.
Social Security covers 62 million people, split among retired workers and their dependents, survivors of workers who've died and disabled people.
"The historical reluctance of lawmakers to reduce benefits for current beneficiaries means that each successive year of delay excludes another large cohort of baby boomer retirees from contributing to the solution, thereby reducing the numbers of those among whom the burden of balancing system finances must be spread", the two former trustees warned. And the trustees now say that program is going to be insolvent in 2026 - or roughly the same time as we are from the passage of Obamacare.
Democrats want to expand the safety net by spending more on health care and education.
The Congressional Budget Office said in April that federal deficits and debt would soar in the coming decade, following passage of the tax overhaul and legislation to increase military and domestic spending.
The twin warnings come as Congress has cut revenue and boosted spending - moves that, analysts say, will leave the government's finances struggling for years to come.
Higher deficits would leave less maneuvering room for policymakers when the day of reckoning finally arrives for Social Security and Medicare.
Most Social Security reform proposals call for a combination of increasing payroll taxes and cutting benefits, including recommendations to raise the full retirement age or scale back on inflation protections. Their formula is likely to involve tax increases to help keep the programs solvent.