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Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) reserves exhausted in 2017, Boards of Trustees

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:03 AM
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Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) reserves exhausted in 2017, Boards of Trustees
Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs. A SUMMARY OF THE 2009 ANNUAL REPORTS, Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees

As we reported last year, Medicare's financial difficulties come soonerand are much more severethan those confronting Social Security. While both programs face demographic challenges, rapidly growing health care costs also affect Medicare. Underlying health care costs per enrollee are projected to rise faster than the earnings per worker on which payroll taxes and Social Security benefits are based. As a result, while Medicare's annual costs were 3.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008, or about three quarters of Social Security's, they are projected to surpass Social Security expenditures in 2028 and reach 11.4 percent of GDP in 2083.

The projected 75-year actuarial deficit in the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is now 3.88 percent of taxable payroll, up from 3.54 percent projected in last year's report. The fund again fails our test of short-range financial adequacy, as projected annual assets drop below projected annual expenditures within 10 yearsby 2012. The fund also continues to fail our long range test of close actuarial balance by a wide margin. The projected date of HI Trust Fund exhaustion is 2017, two years earlier than in last year's report, when dedicated revenues would be sufficient to pay 81 percent of HI costs. Projected HI dedicated revenues fall short of outlays by rapidly increasing margins in all future years. The Medicare Report shows that the HI Trust Fund could be brought into actuarial balance over the next 75 years by changes equivalent to an immediate 134 percent increase in the payroll tax (from a rate of 2.9 percent to 6.78 percent), or an immediate 53 percent reduction in program outlays, or some combination of the two. Larger changes would be required to make the program solvent beyond the 75-year horizon.

The projected exhaustion of the HI Trust Fund within the next eight years is an urgent concern. Congressional action will be necessary to ensure uninterrupted provision of HI services to beneficiaries. Correcting the financial imbalance for the HI Trust Fundeven in the short range alonewill require substantial changes to program income and/or expenditures.

Part B of the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund, which pays doctors' bills and other outpatient expenses, and Part D, which pays for access to prescription drug coverage, are both projected to remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet next year's expected costs. However, expected steep cost increases will result in rapidly growing general revenue financing needs-projected to rise from 1.3 percent of GDP in 2008 to about 4.7 percent in 2083-as well as substantial increases over time in beneficiary premium charges.

It is expected that about one quarter of Part B enrollees will be subject to unusually large premium increases in the next two years. This occurs because it is projected that the other three-quarters of Part B enrollees will not be subject to premium increases in those years due to low projected Social Security benefit COLAs and a "hold-harmless" provision of current law that limits premium increases to the increase in Social Security benefits.

Will the final bill for Health Care Reform include Medicare or will Medicare continue as a separate program?
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bkkyosemite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:41 PM
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1. I'm on Medicare I think it may be separate but I think Single Payer for Everyone is needed
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 12:41 PM by bkkyosemite
HR 676 is alot better than Medicare and would cover other things like dental vision etc.

What is "single-payer"?

The term single-payer describes the kind of financing system that H.R. 676 uses. It means that one entity--in this case, established by the government--handles all billing and payment for health care services. Right now, there are thousands upon thousands of "payers"-- HMOs, PPOs, bill collection agencies, etc. The sheer volume of paperwork required by our current system means that administrative waste accounts for roughly 31% of the money spent on health care. The single-payer system would eliminate the wasteful paperwork and administrative costs, redirecting more of our health care dollars to providing care.

Medicare is perhaps the best known single-payer system. Essentially, H.R. 676 would improve Medicare and expand it, so that it covers all Americans, regardless of their income.

Who will be eligible for health care coverage under H.R. 676?

All Americans will be eligible for health care coverage. Every person who enrolls in the program and receive a United States National Health Insurance Card and individual ID number, and that is all anyone will need to receive care.

What health care services are covered?

The program established by H.R. 676 will cover all medically-necessary services without charging co-pays or deductibles. The services covered will include: primary care; inpatient, outpatient and emergency hospital care; prescription drugs; durable medical equipment; hearing, dental and vision care; chiropratic treatment; mental health services; and long-term care.
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