KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Health Of Medicare Trust Fund Improves, Staving Off Need For Dreaded ‘Death Panels’

The board reports that it will be depleted in 2029, a year later than the Obama administration had last projected. The estimate helped avoid activating the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Kaiser Health News: Medicare’s Financial Outlook Slightly Improved, Trustees Say
The Trump administration said Thursday that the financial outlook for Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund improved in the past year due to health costs rising more slowly than expected and predictions that enrollees will use hospital services less often. The report said that trust fund would last through 2029, one year later than what was projected last year. Two years ago, 2030 was the projected depletion date. (Galewitz, 7/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Social Security, Medicare Face Depletion Within 17 Years, Trustees Say
The trust funds were built when more people paid into the system than received benefits. As the population ages, benefit payments are projected to exceed revenues, drawing down fund balances. Under current law, when the trust funds are emptied, benefits from the programs will be abruptly reduced. The latest projections say retirement benefits would be slashed by 25%. The status of the funds is thus a potential trigger for reforms in the programs. (Zumbrun, 7/13)

CQ Roll Call: Health Improves For Social Security Disability Insurance Fund
The Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund is now projected to be able to pay full benefits for an additional five years, through 2028, the Social Security trustees said Thursday. The report cited lower-than-expected applications for and awards of the benefit to people who are considered no longer able to work or work full time. In the organization’s annual report, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees extended the projected depletion date for disability insurance from 2023 to 2028. (Krawzak, 7/13)

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