As several 2020 Democrats promise to stretch Medicare to cover every American, the current system is heading full-speed toward a cliff.
The latest report from the trustees of Medicare and Social Security showed that Medicare will be insolvent by 2026 if nothing changes.
Today's focus on Social Security & Medicare insolvency dates underscore their cost because they: 1) Assume the $3 trillion trust funds have real economic resources to pay benefits, and 2) Do not count the huge, growing shortfalls of Medicare Parts B and D. (1/ pic.twitter.com/UGN9kQSq5b
— Brian Riedl (@Brian_Riedl) April 22, 2019
The trustees found that the fund that maintains Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility and home health services following hospital stays, and hospice care, will run dry in 2026. After that, the current revenues for the fund will only cover 89 percent of the demand.
Medicare’s fund began to deplete as demographic changes hit America. The Baby Boomers provided a steady flow of income into the system when they were the foundation for the program, but now they are on the receiving end and the working population is much smaller.
The trustees recommended that Congress take swift action to address the flaws in Medicare in order to prevent a collapse.
“The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits.”
Social Security is facing a similar fate. Trust funds that keep the program afloat are expected to be depleted by 2035.
Despite the pending collapse of Medicare, Democrats keep suggesting that the system should be used to fund the health care of all Americans.
Under Medicare for All, Americans will no longer have to worry about:
We are going to end the greed of insurance companies and put patients first.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 19, 2019
Today I co-sponsored a bill with my Democratic colleagues, to guarantee Medicare for All because everyone should have easy access to quality, affordable health care. It’s time for all of us to jump into action and fight for this right.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 10, 2019
When my dad became ill, what we didn’t have to think about was whether it would lead to bankruptcy in our family — because leaders made a choice to give us Medicare. Every American ought to have that same assurance when it comes to health care coverage. pic.twitter.com/8rAY1IDRZX
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 26, 2019
We need to lower drug costs and protect the Affordable Care Act. Everyone in this country deserves health care at the lowest possible cost, with the highest possible outcomes. That’s why I’m fighting for #Medicare4All.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 10, 2019
Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have both proposed getting rid of the private health insurance industry so that Medicare can take over. Other Democrats, like Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) have proposed opening Medicare to all Americans while allowing others to stay on their insurance if they so choose.
As IJR previously reported, “Medicare for All” could cost more than $32 trillion over the first decade.