Medicare isn't going broke -- yet

A new report shows the program's fiscal health is getting better but issues persist.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 30, 2014 2:36PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyGood news for Medicare.

The program's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund has enough money to fund the program through 2030, according to a new report from the program's board of trustees (.pdf file). That's four Pills © SuperStockyears later than last year's estimate, and 13 years later than was forecast the year before the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, NPR said.

"Medicare is considerably stronger than it was just four years ago," Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Monday. She noted that slower growth of the program’s spending will very likely mean that the Medicare Part B premium charged to beneficiaries -- currently -- remains the same for the third year in a row. "That's a growth rate of zero percent," she noted.

The trustees cited slower growth in health care spending and expected savings from Obamacare for extending the solvency of the hospital trust fund. Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, said in a press release that the trustees' report effectively demonstrates that Medicare is a healthy, viable program. She added:

It continues to be an efficient, cost-effective program that Americans can count on for future generations. It should be protected as one of our great success stories.

Despite Medicare's slightly healthier financial outlook, the program is still financially unsustainable over the long run. Because of that, the trustees have called for congressional action to address Medicare. According to The Washington Post:

"Some might be tempted to conclude from these good news trends that Medicare may be healing its financial maladies all by itself and that no further action will be needed," said Robert Reischauer, the Democratic public trustee. "That would not be a prudent conclusion."

A reduction in benefits and increases in taxes may be necessary to avoid cuts to Medicare in the future, The Associated Press said.

Because of the uncertainty of health care costs, the trustees' report said predicting Medicare's future is a challenge. The Post said:

Projections of Medicare costs are highly uncertain, especially when looking out more than several decades. One reason for uncertainty is that scientific advances will make possible new interventions, procedures, and therapies. … No one knows whether these future developments will, on balance, increase or decrease costs.

Were you surprised to see Medicare's solvency grow to 2030?

More from Money Talks News


Jul 30, 2014 3:42PM
Just wait for those illegal aliens then it and everything else in this country will be broke. Return to sender, America love it but leave it go back to your drug ridden slums in mexico and stay there. 
Jul 30, 2014 5:54PM
Are we actually supposed to believe these people who seem to be wrong half the time and not right the other half?
Jul 30, 2014 4:25PM

That would be true if they actually had the money in the fund, but they don't.  It just like SS.

There is no cash money in the fund.  It will start running a deficit very quickly as will SS and

the government will have to borrow every dollar of that deficit. 

We are already to far in debt.  This will just make it worse.

Jul 30, 2014 6:24PM
it's just a matter of time. Obama's new guest list(all the illegals he invited to the mexico border party) will
break the bank so to speak. but then it is what he said he would do. stand with the muslims when the time came. it came when you elected him. so you are gonna get what he wanted.

Jul 31, 2014 7:34AM
This doesn't surprise me, just like S.S., too many hands in the pot.
Jul 30, 2014 6:28PM
How can it go broke, even with all the fraud, Barry just gave us working Americans a nice fat increase on our taxes with obamacare and part of that is a medicare tax increase to 4%. That's along with my 15.3% for SS, 28% for federal and 10% to the state of Cal. This doesn't include all the other taxes and fees I pay. It doesn't pay to work anymore. My business is crap yet the gov. keeps sending me increases.
Jul 30, 2014 5:00PM
If I had come up with this "program" I would be in jail for running a Ponzi scheme.
Jul 30, 2014 5:57PM
Don't tell Congress this, they'll rape the fund and give themselves a pay raise!
Jul 30, 2014 11:13PM
When wages/salary increase and worker participation rates increase, I will believe this.   Until then, expect higher taxes.   This article actually makes you think that we have a young nation.
Jul 30, 2014 4:20PM
Medicare, being a US Government-sponsored program, will never "go broke".  This phrase is a red herring.  The US Government itself, with a debt of $17.6 TRILLION, (105% of the US GDP), isn't "broke", just "heavily into debt" with no real concerns about correcting the situation.

When Medicare needs the additional funds to make payments, the Government will just print up another $2-3 trillion to meet the need and no one will be any the wiser.

Roll on, you printing presses, roll on!
Jul 31, 2014 1:08PM
Exactly, we always knew....the tail-end of the baby-boomers get screwed without medicare. Tail-end of baby boomers are always the biggest losers...they pay into the sytem longer and more than anyone...but they get nothing back...sorry, It's gone!...Thank you $....oh, and it's Gone!
Jul 30, 2014 4:11PM
who believes anything the health and humas services says anymore.  thy are all a bunch of liers and only tellthe story if it makes them look better or makes their bonus go up..  who wants to bet  something else will be out in a few days showing how wrong this is and how bad off the program is??
Aug 23, 2014 1:25PM

The amount paid in by seniors now receiving benefits was so low,  that one typical hospital bill in their lifetime means that current contributors are paying that bill. In the financial world it is called a Ponzi scheme. When they say that Medicare and Social Security is ok for now, they mean that the pyramid

scheme hasn't collapsed yet.

Aug 23, 2014 9:39AM
Medicare helps a little bit with medical care but heaven forbid you have a serious illness and Medicare is all you have.  A good supplement plan and a prescription coverage plan are essential to pick up where Medicare falls short.  Those plans are pricy now.  With the implementation of Obamacare, insuance companies will be raising rates making those plans hard to afford or completely unaffordable for some seniors on fixed incomes.  It wouldn't surprise me to see an increase in the suicide rate of our country's seniors who cannot afford adequate  insurance to cover treatment of their catastrophic illnesses and can no longer stand the pain.  Our president doesn't have a brain in his head.
Jul 30, 2014 7:42PM
The USA is the only country in the world that  cannot figure out how to  cost effectively help it's citizens with healthcare basic needs and allow those with big bucks or that want to spend the dollars get an upgraded private policy. This is how Canada and England do it and they would not take ours for anything.
Aug 23, 2014 10:18AM
The solution will be to force all medicare recipients into the Obamacare  system, with high copays and high monthly premiums.
Jul 30, 2014 5:23PM
Obama has done a great job managing our medicare and social security funds.  Thank God it is not been privatized.  It would be dowon the toilet and all of those who wanted it privitized would want theri money badk.   way to go Obama
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