The longer entitlement reform is delayed the worse entitlement reform will be. Indeed, delay increases the risk of no substantial reform and much higher taxes for supporting Social Security and Medicare. As time passes and more baby boomers retire, the amount of money paid out for age-tested entitlements will grow, making the programs even less solvent. Even more importantly, the larger number of recipients and those close to eligibility will form a voting block against decreasing benefits. People fight very hard, sometimes even irrationally, to hold what is theirs. I am getting closer to eligibility myself and while I am ideologically committed to reform, I sometimes feel the tug of my own interests in policy analysis.
And the elderly form a particularly powerful voting block. It is costly to vote and thus the elderly vote in larger numbers than the young. They have less exciting things to do than the young and more time on their hands.
But most of the best reforms to Social Security and Medicare would affect those already collecting these entitlements or those within hailing distance of retirement.