Older people will be okay, MoneyWatch reported, since they will be grandfathered into the existing program. Younger people under age thirty-five will have a tough time, but if they start saving early enough, MoneyWatch advises, they “may be able to glide through retirement.” Those between age thirty-five and fifty-five will “have to rely on the stronger two legs of the retirement stool—savings and retirement plans.” Stronger legs? The writer must be on another planet. It would have been great for her to note that retirement arrangements in the form of 401(k) plans are inadequate for most families. The median household headed by a person age sixty to sixty-two with a 401(k) plan has less than one-quarter of what is needed in the account to maintain the same standard of living in retirement, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and The Wall Street Journal.

As for personal savings? Some families do have them, but, as the Journal reported, “Federal Reserve and other data suggest that those don’t fill the gap for most people.” Seems like those stats alone should generate more press interest in reframing the discourse around Social Security.

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.