Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) unveiled a plan to establish a permanent, independent commission called the National Commission on Entitlement Solvency to shape legislation aimed at preserving Medicare and Social Security. The 15-member commission would make recommendations to Congress about the programs one year after the laws enactment and then every five years. The proposal would set mandatory timelines for Congress to introduce legislation based on the commissions recommendations, take committee action and schedule debate. The solvency of Medicare and Social Security rank among the highest and most significant problems that face our nation down the line, Domenici said. In 2006, 52.3% of federal spending, or $1.42 trillion, went to Social Security and Medicare, Feinstein said. That number is expected to climb to 60.4%, or $2.54 trillion, by 2016. Projected deficits will exhaust Medicare in 2018 and Social Security in 2040, according to the Social Security and Medicare trustees. -- by Matthew DoBias
New Medicare commission proposed
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