Everything with this administration seems to be “unexpected”…from higher unemployment, to higher gas prices, to higher food prices. We now have a new “unexpected”.
Friday the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds issued their annual report. You can read a summary here, but it isn’t pretty.
Medicare will run out of money in 2024.
Last year’s report had extended the life of the Medicare fund by 12 years — to 2029 — to reflect the savings they say would be found in the massive overhaul of health care that President Obama got Congress to pass in 2010. [emphasis supplied]
Remember, that was the $500 billion taken from Medicare over the next ten years allegedly to “extend” Medicare’s life. Of course, that same $500 billion was targeted to cover the cost of the uninsured, but, who’s counting.
It now seems that Medicare needs that money back. Or, maybe it is still counted as “Medicare money”, in which case, the program is in worse shape than projected.
Last year, Medicare paid out $32.3 billion more than it collected in taxes. Based upon this report, if we leave things as they are, we will fail to meet our “promises” to seniors, whether they are currently on Medicare or not, in 2024.
On the Social Security front, the Social Security Disability Trust Fund will run out of money in 2018, and the Retirement Trust Fund will run out of money in 2038. One plan to extend the disability fund is to “divert” funds from the retirement fund and move them to the disability fund.
If nothing is done, under federal law, when all of the government IOU’s are exhausted (remember, the government spent your money as soon as it was received, and gave the trusts IOU’s), the trusts are required to pay out no more each year than they collect in taxes.
That means that without some change to the law, benefits would be slashed to roughly 75% to 80% of what is currently covered.
And yet, the Democrats will continue to pound any Republican who advocates Medicare or Social
Security reform as, “telling old people to die”.
Without some sort of reform, at least on the Medicare front, come 2024, they just might.