Medicare Trustees: Funds Will Run Out Sooner Than Expected
Last Friday, the Medicare trustees offered their annual take on the fiscal fitness of the health insurance program for senior citizens and the disabled. The reviews were worse than last year's projections.
The Fiscal Times: Trustees Puts Health Care Safety Net on Critical List
It is commonplace for politicians to suggest dramatic changes are needed in Social Security and Medicare or the programs won't exist "for our children and grandchildren." The annual trustees report for those two programs released on Friday reveals a future in which benefits are reduced, not eliminated. ... For Medicare, the hospital trust fund will exhaust its surpluses by 2024, fully five years earlier than projected a year ago. At that point, the health care program for seniors would have to cut reimbursements to hospitals, home health aides and other providers by 10 percent (Goozner, 5/13).
PBS NewsHour: Medicare, Social Security May Exhaust Funds Sooner Than Expected
Given the continuing battle playing out debts, deficits and entitlement spending, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is chairman of the trustee's panel, told reporters Friday that the new projections demonstrate "the need to act sooner rather than later to make reforms to our entitlement programs." "We should not wait for the trust funds to be exhausted," he said, "to protect our current and future retirees." Social Security's trust fund will be exhausted in 2036, one year earlier than estimated. But administration officials were quick to point out that the program will still pay benefits then - but not the full amount that retirees expect. "Exhaustion in 2036 means that we'll have money to pay a little more than three-quarters of the benefit," said Michael Astrue, commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Bowser, 5/13).
National Journal: Trustees: Medicare To Go Broke In 2024
Medicare's hospital insurance trust fund will become insolvent in 2024, five years sooner than previously estimated, largely due to the sluggish economy, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees report. Medicare costs will continue to grow substantially, from a 3.6 percent share of the economy in 2010 to 5.5 percent by 2035, the trustees project in their annual report. But they say reforms in last year's health care law can help."We have heard in today's Medicare Trustees report that there is no question we've strengthened Medicare," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters. "But there is still work to be done" (DoBias, 5/14).