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Social Security and the Pandemic

Ed Townsend
Posted 9/14/21

Some folks are concerned with their social security and Medicare and what effect the pandemic has had on the two pillars of America’s social safety net.

I found an article from Yahoo News …

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Here & There

Social Security and the Pandemic

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Some folks are concerned with their social security and Medicare and what effect the pandemic has had on the two pillars of America’s social safety net.

I found an article from Yahoo News titled, “COVID-19 didn’t hurt Social Security or Medicare as much as experts feared, report finds” by Senior Producer and Writer Ben Werschkul, very interesting.

The article noted that in the annual report from the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs recently released found, “ … that pandemic impacts are just beginning to be understood, but the effects could actually be less than many feared over the last year.”

The Yahoo article further quoted from the report saying, “There is no consensus on what the lasting effects of the COVID 19 Pandemic on the long term experience might be.” The report also discussed various reasons why the pandemic’s impact on those programs was not as significant as you might think.

The Yahoo article said, “On the one hand, the report found a sizable impact on the revenue side of Social Security’s ledger with fewer people working in 2020 and therefore less payroll taxes being paid into the program.”

The piece also quoted a senior administration official, “who described increased deaths from the pandemic as helping the programs bottom line.”

The official said the extent of if they will “truly offset each other” is not known at this time.

The article also mentions Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Akabas “noted after reading the report that the extremely short recession was the key factor to help minimize the damage to Social Security and Medicare.”

He added, “the mortality impact was actually a little bigger than we anticipated and that’s just because the pandemic has been so tragic for the country over the past 18 months.”

The Yahoo article also said, “Trustees projected that elevated mortality rates related to the pandemic would continue in a declining fashion through 2023.”

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