What the Debt Ceiling Means for Social Security and More
The federal government is about two weeks away from being unable to pay its bills — and that could delay benefit payments to tens of millions of retirees, Medicare and Medicaid providers, and numerous others receiving checks from the U.S. Treasury.
Republicans in Congress are preventing Democrats from raising the federal borrowing limit, which could lead to a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt. Once the government reaches the ceiling — and exhausts all other measures to keep payments flowing — it will run out of funds for bills it has already promised to pay.
The government has never defaulted on its obligations, so how this all works is unclear. But its impact could be wide-ranging, including Social Security benefits and school lunch programs.
“There is no public playbook for what to do when you breach the debt limit,” said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at…