News of the Day ... in Perspective3/24/2004
Medicare bankruptcy date moved up 7 years
Medicare’s financial outlook has deteriorated so rapidly that the Part A Trust Fund is expected to be exhausted in 2019, 7 years earlier than projected 12 months ago according to the Trustees’ Report.
One reason is lower-than-expected revenue from payroll taxes because of very slow growth in wages in 2003.
The estimates assume that physicians’ fees will be cut 5% each year from 2006 to 2012, as required under current rules.
Medicare Parts B and D (the new prescription drug benefit) are projected to absorb 6.2% of the nation’s GDP by 2078, up from 0.9% today, and also to require substantial increases in beneficiary premiums.
Democrats are calling for a re-vote on the prescription drug benefit.
Download the Trustees’ Report: www.cms.hhs.gov/publications/trusteesreport
Prescription for Disaster, AAPS News, August 2003
The Dark Side of Entitlement. AAPS News, June 2002
Medicare at age 30: Time for a New Declaration? AAPS News, July 1995