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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 23, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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i now give the floor to mr. thomas. >> thank you. the high representative of the european union has asked me to convey the following message to the united nations security council. the agreement reached in vienna on the 14th of july 2015 between iran and china, france, germany, russia, the united kingdom, the united dates of america, with the support of the high representative of the union for foreign security policy, and a joint conference of plan of action is historic in nature. the agreement once implemented marks a conclusion to the long-running diplomatic efforts to reach a comprehensive long-lasting, and peaceful
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solution to the iranian nuclear issue. one that will provide the necessary assurances on the exclusively peaceful nature of iran's nuclear program on the one hand, and the list -- lifting of sanctions on the other. as such, it represents a significant achievement and a tribute to the merits of patient diplomacy from all sides. it is appropriate that this deal was struck in vienna, where all this began 12 years ago when the international atomic energy agency started to look into possible iranian undeclared nuclear activities. since then, there have been many months and years of at times difficult negotiations. a key milestone in that process was the interim geneva agreement in 2013, the smooth implementation of which provided necessary time and space for the conflict negotiation process which followed. this resulted in the parameters being set for the final deal. the format was especially
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effective. we feel that the european union in particular was able to play a crucial or facilitation role throughout the whole process. the european union has been facilitator, moderator, and in the final stages, pen holder of the jcpoa text and its nexus. it is hard to imagine another actor who could have done this year it a key element -- this. a key element of success was maintaining the unity of the group. it is to the credit of all those who participated that we stayed committed to reaching a mutually beneficial deal. the fact that the self-imposed deadline was overrun several
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times bears witness of the shared view that a quality agreement was vastly superior to a quick one. the agreement is good, durable and very viable. iran has agreed to make changes to its nuclear program. the international atomic energy agency will have the access it needs to determine when iran has completed those actions and to detect any future violation of the agreement. iran will receive sanction lifting and return. the jcpoa set out in detail what is required by all sides providing clarity to facilitate the implementation of the agreement. together with a conclusion to be made by the international atomic energy agency in that regard the full implementation by iran of its commitments under the jcpoa will contribute to building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the iranian nuclear program. it will be necessary for all sides to work now towards implementing this joint
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comprehensive program of action. the security council resolution adopted today is a key element in this process. as agreed in vienna, the european union will endorse the security council resolution in conclusions of the foreign affairs council which is in session as we are speaking. the european union will also
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endorse the jcp oa and commits to abide by its terms and to follow the agreed implementation plan. in effect, the european union acts -- actions will be carried out in accordance with the timeline and modalities specified in the jcpoa, and that as stipulated there, the determination of implementation of economic and financial sanctions would come into effect once the international atomic energy agency has verified that iran has implemented all of its nuclear related commitments. for the time being, the provisions and the joint plan of action agreed in geneva in 2013 have been extended for a further six months to cover the period until the international atomic energy agency has verified that iran has carried out its commitment. the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy will continue her support and coordinating role during the entire implementation phase of the jcpoa. she hopes and expects that this positive development will open the door to a steady improvement in relations between the european union, its member states, and iran, as well as improved iranian regional and international relations, and that it will constitute the basis of a more stable and secure region in the longer term. it is essential that this opportunity is seized by all. thank you, mr. president.
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>> i thank you for your statement. i now give the floor to the representative of germany. >> the agreement reached in vienna and endorsed today by this council with resolution 2231 is an important and possibly historic step towards ending the decade-long conflict surrounding iran's nuclear program. as such, it has the potential to ease concerns regarding peace and security in the region, and beyond. allow me to briefly examine its significance from three different angles. firstly, germany firmly believes that the agreement does in fact reduce the risk of a nuclear arms race.
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after long and demanding negotiations am a the e3 plus three and the eu have produced an incredible framework which will prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. iran has committed itself to comprehensive technical restrictions in an unprecedented transparent regime that will allow us to rule out any covert nuclear activities. the agreement is not merely built on trust or goodwill, we have established a unique and long-term set of confidence building measures. everything we agreed on will be strict we monitored. a powerful snapback mechanism will provide an additional incentive. it will now be crucial to effectively implement the agreement.
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the international atomic energy agency will have an important role in this regard. in exchange for the nuclear restrictions, iran will profit from early and comprehensive sanction relief. the resolution adopted today is a step in the right direction. second, the agreement also offers ample political opportunities for iran. it reflects a fundamental choice by the iranian government. it is an expression of intent to be a constructive part of the international community. it is up to iran to deliver on this commitment. we express our hope that in fulfilling the agreement, iran will see this potential to bring about improvement in other fields as well, from civil liberties to human rights, and the accommodation of regional security concerns. finally, we hope that the agreement reached in vienna will also have a positive effect on the relations between iran, the european union, and its member states, and will improve iran's regional and international relations.
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we also hope it will open the door to a more constructive iranian foreign policy and ultimately contribute to a more secure and stable region. mr. president, the agreement reached in vienna on july 14 has proven that complex and long-standing conflict can be peacefully resolved if there is enough political will and courage. it is a victory for diplomacy and for the principles of the united nations. thank you mr. president. >> i thank the representative of germany for his statement. there are no more names inscribed on the list of speakers. the meeting is adjourned. reserve
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officer's association, the air force association and hosted this hour-long event. >> i want to welcome you all here to this. our next brisk in our seminar series on nuclear deterritoriant and missile defense. i want to wouk our friends from c-span that are here this morning. on behalf of the air force association, the national defense industrial association and the reserve officers association of america i want to thank you all and welcome our sponsors, especially our friends from the israeli embassy. i also want to thank two of on my former missile defense
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organizations groups, allison and john formerly with lockheed markin. and ips to also say hello to the head of our government enforcement at the organization, as well. uzi was head of the missile defense office in israel and father of the arrow program. he speaks around the world on missile developments in the middle east and both the united states and our allies from israel as well as being a missile defense expert and bum of our dear friends and colleagues that come all the way from israel to be with us here today. uzi, i want to welcome you here today on behalf on v of our sponsors. could you all give a warm welcome to uzi rubin. >> thank you peter. it's always a privilege and a
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pleasure to be in this great venue. i try to be here at least once a year to talk to people. this time, i chose to update you on missile and isis and other warring radical militias. they are now too innumerable to name. the main point will be iran's integrated missile program. i try to show to you these two programs are not -- they're actually the same program and finally a few words about focusing on missile defense. when the iran agreement was concluded, i think it was concluded, not sure, but it's
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concluded, i was morlde or less on my flight here. i'm really not aware of many of the details. so i have no prepared remarks on that. but i will be happy to answer questions to the best of my ability, not on the specifics and the details which i don't know, but about the implication. so if you have any questions about that, hold. a very good question not excellent question. an excellent question has slides. let me talk about the rockets and missiles on radical parties in the middle east. let me show several pictures. this is a recent picture and it shows a fire rocket into south israel. last week there was a big attack against the egyptian town.
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a very nice town by the beach. beautiful, magnificent beach. so here are rockets ground rockets, fired at israel. by this makes sense. isis, they don't like us and they fire rockets at us. but is more bizarre is this picture. this shows isis firing rockets not at us, but at hezbollah. i can't believe my ears when i'm saying that. but here they are firing rockets at hezbollah. some of the rockets i can identify. this one on the left. but you can see the emblem here. the black flag. this was last winter. to just show you how complex the picture is now in the middle east.
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now, i am revisiting something which i showed a few years ago in this audience, too. and this is ballistic missiles in the hands of isis. the story goes like this. this building here is what is purported to be a nuclear reactor. that was taken out so it was reported according to news media and was immediately -- demolished by the asset regime and were bulldozed over about the atomic committee could come and inspect it. and satellite photo shows that the building with the blue was build on that side. here is the blue building. the mystery, what was in that building. tw years ago a video was published showing them occupying. that is the same blue building and finding in it skud missiles.
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amazingly sa doom hussein to syria, to assad, in order to be used against israel and firing at it is -- but that would be propaganda. i'm not sure. anyway, this is the last time we saw this missile until about half year ago. here they are again. now in basra and in the end of isis. so they have now discussed missiles which are in operation -- not operation, but you know that isis is drawing a lot of volunteers a lot of talent from all over the islamic world and they have missile experts and it could be that
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missile would be made operational and it could be used. so here we have isis and ballistic missile. speaking about rockets and missiles in the hands of militias, a whole zoo of missiles is now appearing in iraq. apparently home made by shia iranian militias and there are dozens of them making home made rockets. although i'm not sure everything is home made here. the rocket engine is very big. too large to be -- any rocket. there is probably a 600 millimeter iraq iranian rocket engine being transported or supplied by them through the local militia who roll it up into all kinds of -- a whole zoo, out of dozens of different
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designs and look at the lounger. this is a regular iraqi army. you can see the iraqi flank here. a very capable launching here is installed. same rocket is installed here on some kind of improvised different rock. you see all the shops are producing rockets. and here is another. this is another type of rocket a regular launcher. they have dozens of flags and i looked it up and the flags on google and you find all kinds of strange militias and flags and the one that caught my eye was a militia called shabak. it's not our shabak. it's a real anymore of something we never heard about for such an ethnic group which is associated with some kind of a splinter
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cord community. and they have now their own militias and we see more of those zoos of rockets. this bombardment rocket look at this gentleman. and a huge warhead. in order to fight in closed quarter in the yar. all those flags are well identified. there are shia militias in iraq. i'm showing you a very short collection of dozens and dozens of rockets that are all gearing up to fight isis to take a part of iran the person park of iraq taken by isis. now, talking about creakivety in syria, the local rocket
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production and sits here for two hours with all this fascinating stuff. for me as an engineer, fascinating stuff. but here the warhead is a canister commercial canister of -- gas. there is a short video showing it being tested. believe me it's a fuel airborne. it destroyed buildings. it's amazing. so the creativity here is really -- here it's being loaded into the launcher of this pipe. is not a tube. it's not a gun. it's just to stabilize it when it goes out. the syrian army is increasing its firepower with the help of outside for hiss. we see this russian made 220 millimeter organ.
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the last time we saw it in action was in 2008. very impressive firepower. look at this em brem here. this is a syrian office and this is the emblem you find in google of the russian airborne tops. in other words this is an emergency supply testimonies directly out of the russian people that shows how desperate the situation is. just fly to the end of the ship, even without repainting them. secretary
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of state john kerry's capitol hill testimony about the deal tomorrow morning. >> when congress is in session c-span3 brings you more of the best access to congress with live coverage of hearings, news conferences, and key public affairs events. and every weekend it's american history tv traveling to historic sites, discussions with authors and historians, and eyewitness accounts of events that define the nation. c-span3, coverage of congress, and american history tv. now, an update on the social security and medicare trust
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funds from treasury secretary jack lew health and human services secretary sill is villa burwell and thomas perez. this is about 40 minutes. good afternoon. is the microphone on? good afternoon. hello, everyone. >> thanks for being here. earlier today the social security and medicare boards of trustees met to complete the annual financial review of the programs and to approve the
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trustee's final reports. i'd like to recognize and thank my fellow trustees for their productive work this past year and i know i speak for all the trustees when i say this year's review will not have gone as smoothly without the skill and determination of the chief actuaries and their staffs. thank you, everyone, for your hard work. social security and medicare are the most successful social insurance programs in the history of our nation. every year they get millions out of poverty and give americans 65 and over access to affordable health care. they fulfill a solemn promise that's been made from one generation to the next. they embody fairness that has been fundamental to our nation's success. both social security and medicare are secure today and will remain secure in the years to come. consistent with previous years, today's reports also show that these programs are facing
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challenges and need to be addressed. the short-term projections in this year's report for social security and medicare are little change from last year while long term projections are significantly improved. when considered on a combined basis, social security's retirement and disability programs dedicated funds sufficient to cover benefits for nearly two decades, one year longer than projected last year. after that time, as was true last year, it's projected that tax income will be sufficient to finance about three-quarters scheduled benefits. in addition, as we expected, beginning in late 2016, social security's disability program alone will have dedicated funds sufficient to cover about 80% of scheduled benefits. the president's proposed common sense solution to improve the sole conveniency in the short run to americans who rely on it will continue to receive the benefits they need. it's vital that congress move forward to maintain the integrity of this critical
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program sooner rather than later. once again, these reports demonstrate how the affordable care act has bolstered medicare and shored up finances. when the president signed health care form into law, the trustees projected it would extend the life of the trust fund by 12 years from 2017 to 2029. since then the affordable care act has helped reduce the rate of health care price increases to their lowest rate in 50 years. as a result the trustees have over the past several years revised down their projections of medicare costs and the projected life now extends to 2030. even further than estimated when the affordable care act was signed. it put medicare on on more stable footing by eliminating waste, cutting patient costs. of course there's more work to do to fix the finances of social security and medicare.
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as the president pointed out in last week's conference on aging, they are facing challenges because of demographic trends rg including the fact that the largest generation in american history is now reaching retirement age. the president is determined to protect the future of solvensy on medicare and committed to keeping the programs strong. while the president will never support proposals that hurt current or future retirees he's ready to work with congress in a bipartisan basis to create serious solutions. to those who say these challenges are in tractable, let me point out democrats, republicans, and the administration came together to pass a permanent doc fix, something that alluded washington for 13 years. this measure improved medicare a's long-term outlook.
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we must and we can achieve this kind of progress again. 50 years ago this month at the signing of the bill that created medicare, president johnson declared that the new historic law was a reminder of the call never to be indifferent towards despair. half a century later we honor that calling again. we honor it because as americans we believe hard work should be rewarded and the most vulnerable should be protected and every one of us no matter what we look like should have a chance to live with dignity and security. we now will have others make statements. i'm going to have to slip out a little bit before the end of this session. all questions will be answered quite ably. thank you very much. >> thank you secretary lew. next week we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of medicare.
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we're going to celebrate that medicare has kept older americans healthy for half a century. and that it is constantly work to go improve it and it is helping us lead the way in building the health care system for tomorrow. and today with the 50th medicare trustee's report we reaffirm our commitment as responsible stewards of the program. and i would like to highlight a few items from the report. first, we project medicare trust fund will be funded through 2030. and this is the same timeline we projected last year and 13 years longer than we projected before the passage of the affordable care act. second we project that over the next 10 years medicare spending per enrollee will continue to grow slowly relative to historical rates, specifically at one-tenth of a percentage point higher than gdp. to build on this progress medicare is moving from paying
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for the quantity of services to the value of care. and efforts to reduce hospital readmissions and acquired conditions are saving lives, improving outcomes, and generating savings for the tax payer. finally, i want to address the report's projections for part b premiums. under the preliminary projections, 70% of enrollees in part b would see no change in their premiums for 2016. the final decision rg, including the impact will be made in the coming months. that will be based on our preliminary projections today, additional data, and the administration's consideration of policy options. for all medicare enrollees, we project per enrollee part b spend to go increase on average under 5% per year over the next 10 years. for 50 years, medicare has granted dignity and security to millions of older americans. we need to continue our efforts
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to make the program stronger and better for the next 50 years and beyond. thank you. and with that, i'll turn it over to secretary perez. >> thank you, secretary. and secretary lew, it's app honor to be here today with my fellow trustees to report on the foundation of these bedrock programs that have worked so well for millions for so many years. with 10000 people turning 65 every day for the foreseeable future, there's no question that the issue of the long-term solvency of these trust funds are very important. i'm proud to report as secretary lew outlined earlier that they are in sound footing. but not without challenges. and one of the most important things that we can do to address the challenges is to continue to build an economy that works for everybody. an economy that generates good jobs that pay good wages. we're now in the middle of the
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longest streak on record. 12.8 million jocks over the past 64 months. unemployment is now 5.3% which is a seven-year low. and there are 1 million fewer long-term people than a year ago. more people working means more people contributing to the payroll tax pays and paying into social security and medicare. and so this is good news. but we have more work to do. that's why the president's middle class agenda of middleclass economics is designed to ensure that we continue to grow this economy that we continue to ensure that everybody has an opportunity to punch their ticket to the middle class. and when we do that, we not only provide opportunity for everyone, but we also continue to shore up the social security and medicare trust funds. this week we talk about areas of anniversary. there's another anniversary that we celebrate this week and that is the 25th anniversary of the americans with disabilities act.
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seldom do i meet more people who tell me tom, i want to be a tax payer than when i meet people with disabilities. and what we need to do and what the promise of the a da has been is we will focus on the last seven letters instead of the first three letters. we made tremendous progress in that area. as we talk about the issue of the social security disability insurance trust fund we need to focus on the actions that secretary lew outlined to ensure the solvency of that trust fund. at the same time we are working together with our colleagues in the social security administration and elsewhere to expand opportunities for people with disabilities to work so that they can indeed become the tax payers they want to become. we have 20%, 21% labor force participation rate of people with disabilities. we know we can do better.
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so our actions have started with our own hiring and human resources effort. thanks to a 2010 executive order, we have more in federal service than at any time in the last 33 years. we have completed some historic rule making at the department of labor in 2013 that created for federal contractors, new requirements about ensuring opportunity for people with disability toss gain employment. over the last five years, through a grant program called the disability employment initiative, we are investing tens of millions of dollars to transform the system so it is more responsive to the needs of people with disabilities. we are helping states direct programs and funneleding towards integrated employment for people with disabilities. this is a bipartisan issue. in fact, today i sent a letter to governors signed by myself the governor of south dakota and the governor of delaware highlighting examples on of states that have passed legislation or adopted policies that make integrated employment
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of people with disabilities the rule rather than the exception. and the new workforce innovation and opportunity act gives us opportunities to partner with the social security administration, the center for medicare and medicaid and other stakeholders on a working committee to advance strategies for integrated employment. we're using every tool in our toolbox. because of that, we believe people with disabilities can untap the potential they have and lead the lives they had to lead. and so as we celebrate this 25th anniversary of the americans with disabilities act and as we reflect on the challenges in the ssdi trust fund it is another reminder of the opportunities that present themselves to ensure that people with disabilities have those opportunities that they so crave so often. with that, let me turn to caroline. >> thank you, secretary perez. good afternoon. the social security and medicare
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programs are crucially important for the millions of americans who receive benefits. and for the roughly 95% of our population that is receiving or can expect to receive benefits from the program in the future. as trustees we are responsible for overseeing and annually reporting on the status of the two programs. the combined social security trust fund reserves are projected to become completed in 2034 if no legislative changes are made to improve the overall financial status between now and then. at that time continuing income would be sufficient to support expenditures at 79% of program costs. the year of combined trust fund reserve depletion is one year later than in last year's report. lawmakers should act soon to address this imbalance in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and to give workers and beneficiaries time to a adjust to the changes.
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the long-range actuarial status as represented by the actuarial deficit is as shown in the 2014 report. based on the intermediate assumptions, the estimated long-term deficit for the combined social security trust funds the next 75 years decreased from 2.88% of payroll and last year's report to 2.68% of taxable payroll in this year's report. this change in the long-range deficit can be attributed to a number of factors. one, the change in the starting year from 2014 to 2015, thus adding the new 75th projection year of 2089. two, the effects of the president's 2014 executive actions on immigration. and third, changes and methods assumptions as starting data
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values. considering the trust fund reference are projected to become depleted much sooner than the combined social security funds. this year's report again projects that di reserve depletion will occur in the fourth quarter of 2016 in the absence of legislative changes. at that point, continuing income to the di trust fund would be sufficient to support expenditures at a level of 81% of program cost. the di program is of immediate importance for the 11 million americans currently receiving benefits. people who are not able to work depend on these benefits. in addition all working americans who are currently insured depend on this program to replace the income they will lose if they become disabled in the future. the president has proposed a small reallocation of the current payroll tax rate moving 0.9 percentage points of the
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oasi rate to di for just five years. this reallocation would extend the reserve depletion date of the di trust fund by nearly 20 years, roughly equalizing the financial status of the oasi and di trust finds. and this proposal will provide congress time to make careful adjustments in order to ensure financial soundness for this important program for the long-range future. thank you. at this time i want to bring mr. bellhouse up, one of our public trustees. >> i would like to begin, first of all by thanking secretary lew, secretary burwell secretary perez acting commissioner colvin. most of all, i want to thank my colleague for whom i have learned and continue to learn a great amount.
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i also want to thank the many expert and hard-working staff many of whom are present in this room right now. my conondrum as much as i want to single people out, my fear is if i try to name individuals, i will leave occupant someone who is very very deserving. clearly special thanks are due to paul stammic, steve goss, mike linicio at ssa. i would also single out the treasury department staff who have done such an exemplary job leading this. they have made this process as good as it can be. and i would like say a few more words about that process before turning to the substance. as we all know, there's no shortage of criticism of government processes. certainly a healthy skepticism of government, as with any authority, is a good thing.
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but too often it does attend to evolve into cynicism. and participation in the trustee's process these last few years certainly have given us an opportunity, and i believe the obligation, to vouch for the integrity and the quality of the work product that is being released today. each of the many staff, many of whom you see around you, some of who you don't see work incredibly hard to put thoeg these annual reports. our projections of course are not going to be perfect. but i believe the attitude these professionals bring to their work is very close to it. it has been very humbling to witness the dedication of so many to the vital social security and medicare programs, their dedication to the people who depend on these programs, and to the public in general. now, as has become our custom i'm going to handle the social security side of things. i'm going to live it to my fellow colleague bob to handle the medicare side. as has been mentioned, probably the biggest and most news worthy
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story on the social security side remains the impending depletion of the disability insurance trust fund which we project will occur in the fourth quarter of 2016. that's just a little over a year away. for many years, these reports have warned of fundamental systemic imbalances in medicare finances. now one of those shortfalls has become urgent concern. certainly it is an urgent concern to the roughly 11 million as the commissioner noted, 11 million disabled beneficiaries who face the threat of sudden benefit reductions of 19% unless there is prompt legislative action. action to correct the systemic shortfall has been delayed to the point where we don't have a whole lot of options dealing with disability. there is no realistic reform of the disability program no matter how well constructed. that is going to reduce costs by 19% in a year without having an adverse effect on beneficiaries.
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similarly, it does not appear to be an appetite to raise taxes to close the shortfall. this means no matter what else is done, almost certain to be needed a temporary infusion into the disability insurance trust fund from some other source. each carries a different set of implications. some of them problematic. it is clear some type of infusion listen needed no matter what else is done. one of the communication challenges we face each year is to try to explain and off to many of you in the press, why will summaries of the annual reports need to be more sophisticated than citing the date of dephregz as proxy of the overall health of the programs. in practical reality, the depletion date is not an adequate proxy at all for financial health. it contains almost no useful information about what specifically has to be done to sustain these vital programs.
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my plea is don't do that. don't rely solely on the date of projected depletion as being a more significant piece of data than it actually is. the current situation facing disability is an object lesson. it shows how in various important senses by the time the depletion date arrives in some sense it is too late. spending lines and revenue are so far apart we are not raising taxes quickly enough to we wind up looking to another source to bail out the fund with additional revenues. so this is a teachable moment for us. at least it should be. we cannot afford to delay meaningful action where social security retirement fund is also nearing trust fund depletion. some numbers this this year's report dramatize this important point. purely for the sake of administration. let's assume we wanted to hold beneficiaries harmless.
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if you employed that strategy you would have to reduce benefits by roughly 19.6% for every newly becoming eligible for benefits. if instead we delayed action and tried the same strategy when the combined trust funds were nearly depleted in 2034, a complete cutoff of benefits 100%. so those newly eligible will not be enough to deploy depletion. we need prompt enactment to address social security's financial imbalances before they grow too large to fix. accordingly they would do well if in context shoring up the trust fund they could take some action to reduce the long-term financing shortfall to whatever can be agreed to on a bipartisan basis. there are no real big surprise. the principle difference between this year's and last year is we
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lost another year or two in action. as noted before we are a critical year closer to the depletion of the trust fund while a year without legislative action has also avoided the benefit of pushing out depletion dates for survivors trust fund by one year respectively to 2034 and 2035. so the sum is that we remain still closer to trust fund depletion now whether on an individual or combined trust fund paves than at any point since the 1983 financing, social security financing crisis. today's projected long-range deficit of taxable payroll is also significantly larger than the one solved with so much difficulty in 1983. another important measure that speaks to the financial health is so-called trust fund ratio. this measure is the fraction of a year's worth of benefits that the current balance can finance. both of social security's trust
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funds have been experiencing declining trust fund ratios the last several years. the ratio stood at 362 at the start of this year. that was down from 402 at 2011. that means there are enough reserves that could if called upon could finance three and a half years of benefits. disability insurance trust fund was down to 40. and that means that the trust fund reserves on the disability insurance side at the start of this year were less than would be necessary to finance even five months worth of benefit payments. this year is 1.31% of the tax base. it may sound like a very small number but that's the largest such deficit social security has ever faced. social security's other sources of income such as interest payments and any redemptions of assets are not only paid from
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the general fund but they only last as long as there's a positive trust fund balance. after they are depleted the tax income represents its only ongoing revenue source. we need to act to align this important income stream with annual obligations. for those and other reasons it is imperative lawmakers work to shore up finances at the earlier possible time. with that i call on my fellow public trustee bob roushauer. >> good afternoon. being the last trustee to speak, i will try to be pref. the primary responsibility of the public trustees is to ensure the estimates in the trustees reports are objective, that they use the best data and information available and employ
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the most appropriate assumptions and methodologies as the doctor mentioned, he and i agreed without hesitation or caveat that we can provide the public with such assurance. once again we feel we participated in an open, a robust, and vibrant discussion of the numerous issues that have to be dealt with each year when these reports are put together. again, we have been impressed by the expertise and commitment to objectivity displayed by the actuaries and their staffs, by the staffs of the ex officio trustees, and the staff at ssa. i'd like to add my appreciation to all of them without trying to name anyone to the help that they provided chuck and myself over the last five years. now we provide a couple observations that relate to the content of the report whose
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bottom line as a number of the speakers has suggested, differed little from the recent reports. chuck had an add mow admission that don't focus on the date of trust fund depletion. and we have done our best to help you adhere to that by not changing them. and so you can focus on more knew answered analysis of these reports. first, let me add my voice to the chorus emphasized under current law these vitally important programs are fiscally unsustainable paths if one looks out several decades. and that correction will require legislative action. and the sooner policymakers address these challenges the less disruptive the unavoidable changes will be. and affected individuals, businesses, health care providers and the economy as a whole will have an easier time of adjustment.
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similarly, the sooner lawmakers act the broader will be the array of policy options to be considered. chuck indicated we're at a point now with respect to disability insurance program where we don't have very many options. in fact, we have almost none. and that hopefully won't occur when we consider the long-run situation for oasi and medicare. the situation facing disability insurance could offer case study and potential consequence of not following the advice of acting sooner rather a than later. while everybody in this room might be certain that lawmakers will not allow an interruption in or significant decrease when the trust fund approaches insolvency and reserves are depleted. anxiety may begin to rise if a
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solution is not found and agreed to within the next few months. many beneficiaries are less sophisticated in the ways of washington than those of us in this room. and some may fear with an election approaching, legislative grid lock, government shutdown across the board cut of some kind of which they are familiar with may in some way impact the timely payment of their benefits. our di beneficiaries deserve better than this. as chuck indicated, he tpoubgfocused on social security. by some measures, as others have noted, the long term outlook appears to have improved from last year. 75 actuarial imbalance has improved from .87 to .68 of taxable income in this year's
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report. at the end of the 75-year projection period, total medicare expenditures are expected to amount to 6.0% of gdp. last year's report equivalent number was 6.84. and these are significant improvements. but notwithstanding this good news we should treat it with caution. as has been reported by several of the speakers and in the all trustees message almost all the improvement is projected to occur in the more distant future, 20, 30, 40 years out. the next two decades, total medicare are not projected to be different than that which was projected in last year's report. an indication is the simple fact that the date of hi trust fund depletion has remain unchanged in 2030 from where it was last
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year. of course the further out one projects the more uncertain estimates become. this is especially true with respect to health care where technologies and interventions and delivery systems that we can't even imagine today will be the norm 30 or 40 years from now. most of the improvements shown in the 2015 report for the longer run is a contributoriable to changes i might add that suggest growth in the long run will be slower than we assumed in previous reports. with respect to the projections of medicare costs over the shorter term, meaning the next 20 years or so there's a bit more certainty this year in the report than there was in last year's report or in the reports over the last decade or so. and the reason for this is
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because of the medicare reauthorization act of 2015 which replaced the unrealistic fee schedule updates that were mandated under the ser growth mechanism. this new legislation and the cost-saving measures that secretary burwell and secretary lew mentioned in the affordable care act don't mean that we're necessarily home free. there were major steps in the right direction. but it will be a daunting challenge for cms, hhs providers, plans, and others to implement these policies in an effective way. to realize the projected savings, there will have to be fundamental changes the way care is organized and delivered, but also for those with employer and union sponsored health plans and
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those obtaining coverage through the affordable care act exchanges. as the report and the all trustees message emphasized everyone if the policies that will be an act proved successful tpurbgts legislation will be required to address substantial long-run shortfall facing the hi trust fund and growing burden in part b costs will impose on tax payers and beneficiaries. the sooner we begin doing this the better and less disruptive it will be. thank you. >> we'll take some questions. >> yeah, we'll take a few questions. if you had please wait until the microphone comes to you. speak your name and outlet. >> ricardo alonso saldivar with ap.
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you mentioned that di rescue package should include broader changes to the larger social security problem. what would some of those look like and commissioner colvin, secretary perez how would the administration feel about a broader approach? >> i want to be careful to make my comment as precise as possible. i'm not saying to congress they need to do complete comprehensive social security financing overhaul at this time. what i am saying is that some is better than none, right? i think there has to be legislation to deal with the pressing financing challenges facing the disability insurance system. we also know that the longer we
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delay more substantial financing reforms for social security as a whole the more difficult and less desirable the solution becomes. not just at the present moment but any moment. so if it's possible to be done, it should be done. regardless of whether the long term financing outlet is improved in any way we clearly have an impending disability trust fund depletion that has to be dealt with. that has to be addressed one way or the other. does that answer your question? >> let me reiterate that the immediate insolvency issue we're facing can only be solved by the
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reallocation proposal that the president has put forth. he clearly indicated his willingness working with congress on long-term solutions. it's a matter of what can be brought together in a by patterson way. >> questions? >> danny galina, market news. last year you said that the longer that the fix for social security is is delayed the less likely it is to occur. now, that's a little bleak. what do you think about that this year? >> sit bleak but it remains a concern of mine. and i think that the current disability insurance trust fund issue is a case study and why.
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i think there are many opinions about what should be done about the disability insurance system. but i think any realistic approval of the situation finds that there isn't enough time now to reform disability insurance on its own terms to prevent the depletion date without having to come up with revenues from somewhere else. we don't want to get into that same situation with social security as a whole. if you get to the point where it's 2032, 2033 and lawmakers are unwilling to take action to either constrain the growth of benefits or raise taxes enough for the shortfall the only way it can be dealt with is by basically departing from social security's historical financing structure. so if we believe the social security historical structure is important and should be continued, we need to act much more promptly than that.
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sit a bleak assessment. it's a concern i have. i think probably relative to most social security experts i hold that concern a little bit more strongly. but i think it's a valid concern. if you look at where we are now and the size of the shortfall that has to be corrected now how difficult it was to correct a smaller shortfall in 1983 we're playing with fire if we wait much longer. >> we will have to cut you off. we have very limited time. we will have to give someone else a chance. >> would you like to take it? >> -- news. hi. phil with kaiser health news. in the report it specifically says looking at the solvency it
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doesn't take into account someone's payment in the affordable care act. some of these have gotten started. a couple reports on a few so far. why not? why can't you look at these and decide whether or not these are helping or not at this point? >> i think you know that several of them, whether acos and most recently we just met the statutory standard with a couple of our accountable care organizations both in terms of quality, maintain or improve, and savings requirements. we have met that. you are right to reflect. we're starting to get the evidence and the results in. at this point in time i don't think we think it is far enough long. we do that on statutory basis when we made a that declaration and the actuaries declined and said we met that standard and we can accelerate and replicate the models we put in place. we are taking those steps. what we will see, whether it's that issue or the issue of how we have seen a reaction in readmissions or when we look at
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safety numbers. that 17% over a three-year period reduction in safety harms falls, other things people get in hospitals. the estimated savings is about $12 billion over that period. so you are right. we're gathering that evident. i think at this point we don't feel we're far enough long to include it as our colleagues have said, you know it is very important that we make sure the health of the trust funds. we take these responsibilities very seriously. i'm hopeful and optimistic that over time we will see results that are evidence based and at a place where we can do that. we think we're not there yet. thank you. >> it's almost as if they were matter and anti-matter. >> freedom breeds in equality. i'll say it a third time. >> no. twice is enough. >> anything complicated confuses him. >> filmmakers robert gordon and
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morgan neville talk about their documentary "best of enemies" william f. buckley over war, politics, god, and sex. >> there's not someone in their ear very unlike today. today i believe there's someone say the numbers are -- dwindling. talk about, you know, hot topic. hot, salacious topic number two. whereas, then i don't think that was the norm in tv at the time. and i don't think these guys needed it. as morgan said, these guys didn't need that. >> and the howard case was the moderator, who was a distinguished newsman who i think was really kind of embarrassed by this. he was moderating, but he disappears for sometimes five or more minutes at a time. today you wouldn't have a moderator not jumping in every 30 seconds. so i think really everybody at abc just stood back and let the
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fire burn. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span q and a. >> our topic here how would you improve congress, asking all of you to weigh in on that. john fort yea is here director of the democracy project for the bipartisan policy center out with the latest healthy congress index. you took a look at the first six months of the 114th congress. what did you find? how is congress doing? >> well, back up a little bit. we had a commission at the bipartisan policy center of democrats and republicans. the senate and the house and other walks of life. how can we improve congress? some of the recommendations congress should be here more. congress works a lot. they are not working is very unfair. but they should be here for concentrated periods of time. we really recommend they be here three weeks on five days a week.
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take a day at home. but whatever the number, more time here in washington. we think also that the debate had suffered in congress in a number of ways. in the house but especially in the senate where in the last couple congresses the amendment process was shut down. members of both parties worried they really couldn't put up their proposals as amendments to bills. and a lot of debate was being shut down by filibusters or the majority/minority of debate. when you think about school house rock many of you watched that show when you were younger that was a simple way of telling a good legislative process. you work on committees. you take the time. both sides have input. you get expert opinion. you have an open floor debate. put in two cents and be heard. and then go to conference committee and resolve the differences before sending it to the president. we try to measure all of those things. the day's working, how the
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committees debate are doing. and i think generally there's some good signs in this six months compared to the last couple. >> let's break it down a little bit. when you first did this report last year, you found that over the course of three months in 2014 congress only spent 53% of business days in session. we are close to that. the senate has done pretty well. the senatest up significantly. it was 73 days 71 days. they have been in 86 days. that's really working days. we don't count the days where
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they are just here and you see nobody on the floor. pro for ma day. they are really here working 86 days out of the first half of the year. that's a pretty good number. and as i mentioned, they also are working at home in the district. we know that. we know they're working hard. but we believe that concentrated period of time here in washington is helpful. there are results coming from the fruit of being here more, seeing each other having time to really work through the legislative process. >> what about the house? >> the house is up a tiny bit. i think the house could do better. the senate has been in more significantly. house is up to 70 days this congress. up from 68 and 69 the last couple congresses. >> what about regular order? why is it important? >> a lot of people like the term regular order. i would hike to say it this way. we have moved the last 20 or 30
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years to much more centralized leadership in congress. the worst-case scenario is if you have at the end of the day there's no deal on something and the president and the speaker of the house the majority leader huddled in a room and they cut a deal. then they say back to all members, now you pass this, that doesn't really allow a lot of input we should have. again, if you go back to very simple three parts, the committees is where things again. and having strong committee work lots of bills going through committee, the time to hear from experts get the members who know the subjects well, and demand at a 245 level. number two, you go to the floor. you have some openness to the debate. here the senate has been moved in a way to have more amendments this congress than the last couple. that's a good story. there's more activity. maybe some more closed rules or some limiting of debate in a way we would like to see a little bit more of. and then finally, we haven't had a lot of this yet.
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it's early in the congress. when you get through that part of the process, the house has one version and the senate has their version go. it's a messy process. but it is not in the interest of either party. >> that's what congress face this is week. the senate has a six-year funding stream for the highway trust fund that they want to get through bipartisan bill that the leader of the republican party mitch mcconnell worked on with barbara boxer from california. the house passes a five-month extension. >> ultimately you have to resolve that one way or the other. sometimes one body gives in and says, okay we'll take your version. we don't think that should never happen. but on many major issues the bodies have worked hard on these compromises with their own members. but there is still another step to get to the president. a conference committee where appropriate is an important step. that's where the house brings its leaders on both sides who
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have been involved with passing the bill. the senate brings its leaders and they try to reach a common agreement that both houses can pass. it's the last place of compromise before you get to the president's signature. >> how is this 114th congress doing then on regular order? >> well, i think the committees are very active. i think that's something we've seen that the committee work, the number of bills that have made it through committee, is up. and that's up in both house and senate. if you look at the last couple congresses, we had low numbers. the house was only 66 bills at the present time six months in. and 112, 98 and is up from down a low of 42 to 102. and i think part of that has to do with the republicans having control of both chambers and wanting to get bill that is they found being stopped before back on to the floor. but i think you know we applaud that, that the committees are being active.
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they're putting things out there, they're working through the process they should rather than again waiting for a last-minute negotiation between the leader that is nobody really has major input into committees are active. >> we're talking about ways to improve congress. bipartisan policy center with recommendations that they've made. they're out with an update on the healthy congress index. we want to get your take on this. democrats 202-748-8000. republicans 202-488-8801. independents 202-788-8002. how would you improve congress? more working days more bipartisan meetings? john fortier what else is that you think this 114th congress is not doing that they should be doing that you have recommended in the past? >> well, in our big measures there are a couple things that could be better. the house could be in session more. senate's doing pretty well.
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when we get to the debate on the floor, there's good things. senate's allowing amendments. activity. bills are there. but the house of representatives has had more what we call structured or closed rules. to explain that in a simple way. you can have a debate over a bill where there's a completely amendment process where anybody can add any amendment they like and vote on whether they get into the bill or not. you can say there's five for each other side or really say almost no debate. here take it or leave it the bill, as it is. while we have seen more activity on the house floor, a lot more bills there, more debate, we have also more closed rules, more structured rules than we'd like. we would like more chances for members of both sides to amend the bills. i think on the senate it's complicated trying to talk about the filibuster and the details of that. we try to measure what they call cloture votes and cut off debate
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to vote to break a filibuster but it's -- you know, those numbers are up a little bit. we have a lot of bills being considered. it's a little hard to blame that on majority or minority. it depends on the case. you have to look at. i think still we are not getting to as many bills as we might. the parties disagree. we'd like to see more of this. >> what about bipartisanship and meeting, having lawmakers meet and president up to capitol hill and lawmakers to the white house? >> we had other recommendations and not measuring in this index. i think some of those are very important. two of our members of our commission were senate majority leaders, senator lott and senator daschle. they made a point of the need for many more bipartisan meetings or caucuses. a simple point is that the parties, of course, the members of the parties, the caucus, they meet together. and sometimes too much of that
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meeting really stirs up partisan tension. so if to wrote senator lott when the members or senators come in on tuesday and one of the first things they do is get together as republicans and then democrats, they often come out of the meetings ready to go and sort of partisan way. senators daschle and lott found in the early 2000s leaders, that it was useful to have a cooling down period after those caucuses. why not have a caucus of both parties? why not have the president come to address the caucus and both sides there house and senate or in the senate republicans and democrats and also do it in the house with republicans and the democrats to hear from the whole body sometimes rather than just one party. >> let's get to the viewers' ideas on this as well. tim in virginia, democrat, how would you improve congress? >> caller: yes. i think a good thing would be if

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