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Annual social security and medicare trust fund report

Today, the Board of Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds issued their annual report.  You can find a summary of the report by clicking here.  Bottom line, we are now “broker” than we thought last year.

The Social Security Trust Fund is now expected to go broke in 2033, 3 years sooner than last year’s projection.  The Social Security Disability Trust Fund is now expected to go broke in 2016, 2 years sooner than last year’s projection. 

Of course, that assumes there is a “Trust Fund”.  There isn’t.  What there is is a file cabinet somewhere that contains IOU’s issued by the federal government.  These IOU’s are called “treasuries”, but they are not.  Unlike the treasuries we give to China to pay for our excessive spending, the trust fund IOU’s are non-marketable.  China can sell its treasuries to, let’s say, Brazil.  The trust fund can only sell its treasuries to the federal government.  And, every time it does so, our total government expenditures increase.

On to Medicare…its file cabinet of IOU’s will be depleted in 2024, the same as last year.  But before you cheer, read the fine print.

…the Trustees assume an almost 31-percent reduction in Medicare payment rates for physician services will be implemented in 2013 as required by [Obamacare], which is also highly uncertain.

Highly uncertain?  Here is what the report has to say about that (at pages 277 and 278),

…the prices paid by Medicare for health services are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing these services. By the end of the long-range projection period, Medicare prices for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, ambulatory surgical center, diagnostic laboratory, and many other services would be less than half of their level [before Obamacare]. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance. [emphasis supplied]

“Access problems” is government speak for more and more doctors refusing to accept Medicaid. 

So now, people are “covered” by Medicaid, but they find fewer and fewer doctors who will accept it. Soon, we will have people “covered” by Medicare, but they will find fewer and fewer doctors who will accept it.

And then, we will have Obamacare…

Meanwhile, from the President and Congress,other than Paul Ryan (R. Wi.), we hear crickets.

 

Filed in: Featured, Government, Health Care, Politics Tags: , ,

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18 Responses to "Annual social security and medicare trust fund report"

  1. dairyair says:

    Gee, I wonder what the gubmint will do? HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLETS!

  2. joe_m says:

    Euthanasia will be high on the list, it saves both medical and social security cost.

    Do not resuscitate will be SOP at all hospitals.

    Take 2 pills and go to sleep forever, don’t call me in the morning.

  3. sammy22 says:

    Since the Ryan Plan will preserve Medicare as it is for the next 10 years, it seems to me that the “cabinet of IOUs” will be empty more or less at the same time no matter what.

  4. JollyRoger says:

    The poor folks most likely to vote for “0” will be the first to suffer “access problems” which will be blamed on republicans…  Political connections will make the difference between life or death in the government brokered market, unless maybe you can afford a private hospital or a really good concierge doctor…

  5. Lynn says:

    Any of you remember the old soap opera, “Ryan’s Hope”? Isn’t amazing how life imitates art?
    OK, soap opera isn’t really art. So, how about if I say, Ryan is Hope.

  6. SeeingRed says:

    I smell campaign ads.  30 seconds could do it if well crafter; 1 minute spots targeted at everyone but certainly to ‘help’ seniors understand what a deal Obamacare is for them….

  7. sammy22 says:

    I am “touched” by the concern about seniors on Medicare and receiving Social Security benefits. But even the Ryan Plan will leave Medicare as it exists for the next 10 years (after/if  it gets passed). I am less than happy that while as a retiree I pay for medical insurance and have substantial co-pays, a whole lot of healthy people out there are not covered by medical insurance, but get treatment when they get sick/break a leg skiing.

    • Lynn says:

      Well then Sammy, if Obamacare goes through you will be paying a lot more for your medical insurance than you are now.  With all those waivers to 1200 corp. and all govt. workers, they will have great health insurance and we will be subsidizing it. Meanwhile, we little people will be thrown into a “pool” of thousands of the MOST sick and you will be paying megabucks for them with less healthy people to keep the costs down. This will put Private insurers out of business and BINGO…. Lousy crappy single payer healthcare with fewer doctors because Obamacare is going to pay them less.  I would say Good News now, but No we will have MORE  IRS agents than we have now to make sure we pay our tax, or is it penalty, uh tax, well the Obama Administration hasn’t figured that out yet. So I would say we are ALL ” touched”, for allowing Congress to force us into this debacle. Or maybe “fleeced” is a better word.

  8. Truthseeker says:

    I want my money back plus what it would’ve earned if prudently invested over all the years I paid in.  To quote a popular TV ad, “Its my money and I want it Now!”

  9. Tim-in-Alabama says:

    I’m so thankful that with Obama a shoe-in for four more years, Joe the Dumber by his side, Harvey Reid in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi returned to her rightful place in the House, these problems will be solved, and we can enjoy a worry free retirement with free healthcare and a fiber friendly diet.

  10. sammy22 says:

    As a different take, Lynn, the private insurers are putting themselves out of business with their ever increasing premiums and no incentive/interest in containing costs. Where I live the private insurers are upping their premiums for college students (presumably the healthiest customers they have) by anywhere from 15% to 30%. You think they will reduce premiums if Obamacare is found unconstitutional?

  11. Lynn says:

    You are exactly right. The private insurers are putting themselves out of business. I don’t believe in tarring all of anything with one brush. However, there is a 900 lb. gorilla in the room that I don’t want to be sued by mentioning.  In CT, all of the insurance co. were trying to “legislate” themselves. I know. Rebel that I am, I stood up at an insurance agent training session and asked what X was going to do because there was a heavy lobby for single payer system. X asked me, if I was willing to view the plan that all the co. had worked on. The VP of X sent me an e-mail with the whole plan which would eliminate problems of pre-existing conditions, portability and others. Since it was just for CT, the other one of the BIG three problems, selling across state lines was not in the plan. The gorilla rejected the plan, without the gorilla all the other co. would not be able to compete. They would be absorbing all the higher costs and all the truly ill people would go the the plans of these much smaller co.  I was only in on the tail end of these meetings and did not take part the work sessions. it was a huge plan and unfortunately, I can’t remember details. I was heart and soul sick when the plan broke down. I am no…

    • Lynn says:

      Sorry, can’t stop now. The gorilla is a brute and a greedy bully. It has a monopoly in R.I. , I had too many people crying to me because of the high costs of health insurance there.  A monopoly is a monopoly, it is wrong. Of course, I was only  licensed in CT, so I couldn’t help them. But I tried, there are no agents in R.I., you have to buy from the R.I. Dept. of Insurance. How cold and heartless. I was a friend of my clients, I spent hours explaining policies and the differences between policies. I never made any money, because I sold individual policies where too many people were denied coverage. I only started making money when I sold life  insurance and group policies (where you can’t be denied coverage) and believe me, I made a group out of every Mom & Pop I could legally, so they could get coverage.

      • Lynn says:

        As for CA, the gorilla is a true beast there. I learned of this from a conference at  the first health insurance co. I worked for, a small mid-west co. catering to self-employed. She told horror stories about the gorilla in Ca. and it was easy to sell our policies because they were affordable and you could structure them. Enough.
         
        If I was president, I would appoint a (President) Harry Truman-like person, not a politician of course. An honorable man who shuns the limelight and thinks of others. She/he would sit down with the spoiled children (insurance co.) and tell them they will go out of business if they do not accept the conditions voluntarily. Selling across state lines and allowing the market to hold down the prices. Allowing people to select and buy only specific coverage that met their needs.  I would not let a politician put his hands on the restructuring of “Affordable Healthcare” until AMA and Hospitals were in on it. Oh well, “people say I’m crazy, doing what I’m doing” – John Lennon.

  12. sammy22 says:

    Thanks for outlining what has been going on and putting a “sane” face to what should be done. It would be great if we could find a sane individual to get us out of the mess we are in.

    • Lynn says:

      We need to read the Greek myth of Diogenes. “According to the myth, Diogenes carried a lantern through the streets in search of an honest man in the light”.  If you are of Irish descent you can read “The Haw Lantern” “a collection of poems written by Seamus Heaney.” They tell us “there is little hope of finding an honest man, especially in the dire political situation in Northern Ireland” all quotes from Wikepedia. I don’t know why I am teaching today, forgive.

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