Sen.Mel Martinez, R-Orlando, co-hosted a presentation at the University of South Florida by several government finance experts about what they called a looming, potentially disastrous financial crisis stemming from the programs.
Martinez added, 'We need reform of the health care system, and we need entitlement reform. This is an opportunity, this is the time,' meaning the period before the presidential election.
Martinez has supported President George Bush's proposal for partial privatization of Social Security.
But other than that, said a spokesman for his office, he has no specific legislative initiatives to propose immediately on major changes in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, the largest programs among those often called 'entitlement programs.'