Medicare insolvency now expected in 2026 - three years earlier than previous estimate

08 June, 2018, 04:40 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Report warns Medicare will become insolvent in 2026

While the boost is welcome news, retirees continue to experience spikes in common household expenditures that are growing several times faster than 3%, the League reports.

The total annual cost of Social Security is projected to surpass total income this year for the first time since 1982, the program's board of trustees said in its annual report.

Medicare, the program that provides health care for older Americans and those who are disabled, is covered by two big trust funds.

The trustees urged Congress to consider options to reduce or eliminate the long-term financing shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare "as soon as possible". Financed with payroll taxes collected from workers and employers, Social Security and Medicare account for about 40 percent of government spending, excluding interest on the federal debt.

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Mnuchin vowed that the Trump administration's efforts to cut taxes, ease federal regulations and improve trade deals would help both Medicare and Social Security survive over the long term.

However, as now projected, it is highly unlikely that economic growth absent larger reforms could solve the programs' huge budget quagmire.

Mnuchin said in a statement that there's time to fix the problems. Medicare "is on track to meet its obligations to beneficiaries well into the next decade".

The report did not change its insolvency date for Social Security, projecting it has enough funding until 2034.

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"When Congressional Republicans sold their tax scam to the American people they left out the fact that while the windfalls mostly line the pockets of corporations and the wealthy, the deficits they used to pay for them will fuel their threats to cut Social Security".

Excluding federal debt payments, Medicare and Social Security together make up about 40 percent of total U.S. government spending. Charles Schumer of NY, the Democratic leader. The aging population has squeezed the program, pushing costs up and revenues down. And the number of people on Social Security is expected to climb to 91 million, from 62 million, in the same period.

Social Security recipients are likely to see a cost of living increase of about 2.4 percent next year, working out to roughly $31 a month, government experts said. This is because premium income and general revenue income are reset each year to cover the expected rise in costs.

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