The Social Security administration is threatening to stop the agency’s payroll supplement program in an effort to force seniors to buy insurance.
The agency has said it won’t stop collecting payments from people with high medical bills until Congress fixes the program, and some seniors say they’re still being paid into the system despite the government threatening to cut benefits.
The Trump administration has repeatedly rejected calls for the payments to be stopped, saying that while they are vital to keeping the elderly healthy, they are also a critical part of the U.S. Social Security program.
But the Social Service and Retirement Systems Administration, which is run by the White House, is calling on the president to do so.
“The administration’s threat to stop payment under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is not just a waste of taxpayer money, but also contrary to the will of the American people, the President’s budget proposal, and the Social Science Research Council’s Statement of Principles for the Administration’s Social Security System,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
“We urge the Administration to reconsider its threat.”
The president has proposed a $1.5 trillion cut to Social Security, including $1 trillion in cuts to disability benefits and $400 billion in spending on the program.
That spending would increase the program’s debt burden by $1,500 a year.
“While we recognize that the administration has made a number of recommendations to address the current financial challenges, the administration is not in a position to reverse those reforms,” the Social Services and Retirement systems agency said.
The Social Services Administration, the lead agency for administering Social Security payments, said in its statement that it was prepared to stop payments if Congress does not provide a solution.
“In addition to this proposed cut, the Administration has not provided any indication of a plan to address these challenges, and any such proposals would require action by Congress,” the statement said.