TL: Is it necessary to fix Social Security during a lame duck Congress in December, as many have suggested?

AM: I don’t want to see any change to Social Security this year. We haven’t really had a debate.

TL: How can we foster such a debate?

AM: Policymakers are reluctant to cut benefits or raise taxes due to fears of the public’s reaction. Therefore, one way to improve the climate for a debate is to first raise the level of public knowledge of both the nature of the problem and the implications of different options for addressing it.

Click here for more from Trudy Lieberman on Social Security and entitlement reform.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.