The following is from the Motley Fool. Read it and draw your own conclusion. Is this what you call a mixed message?
So, Medicare Part A is not broke, but it will run a surplus only until 2020 and the Part A trust will run out of money in 2028.
That’s good news? In fact, there is no good news. And besides the obvious fiscal issues, there is no good news because Congress is ignoring the problem, the left and right have totally different views of what a problem is and Americans choose to bury their heads in misinformation. 😡
Only hospital insurance (Part A) is funded. Part B of Medicare has no trust fund, it’s spending is unlimited and that too is a problem. Part B pays its bills using general revenue, premiums beneficiaries pay and the income taxes paid on Social Security benefits by those who have 85% of their SS benefit taxable. In essence some seniors are paying three times for their Medicare. 😎
Medicare is broke?
Despite what you may have heard, Medicare is not broke, bankrupt, or whatever other word you want to use. Medicare hospital insurance had nearly $200 billion in reserves at the end of 2015, the most recent year for which finalized data is available. And, substantially all of the program’s costs were covered by the payroll taxes collected from American workers. What’s more, Medicare is expected to run a surplus every year through 2020.
But that’s where the good news ends. After 2020, Medicare is expected to swing to an annual deficit, which will continue for the foreseeable future. Here’s a thoroughgoing discussion of the problem, but in a nutshell, with the retirement of the massive baby boomer generation, there simply won’t be enough taxpayers contributing to the program to take care of all of the beneficiaries. The trust fund’s reserves are expected to be completely depleted in 2028, after which point the incoming payroll taxes will only be enough to cover about 87% of the program’s costs. There are ways this could be fixed, such as by raising Medicare taxes, but for now, that’s where the financial state of Medicare’s hospital insurance program stands.
Categories: Observations on life