April 23, 2019 | Updates

As Some Push Medicare For All, ‘Trustees’ Report Paints Grim Picture Of Medicare’s Insolvency’

WASHINGTON – As some Members of Congress and 2020 presidential hopefuls continue to push for a costly, one-size-fits-all “Medicare for all” system, a new report from Medicare’s trustees paints a picture of the program’s future that is described in news reports as “troubled,” “shaky,” “grim” and “sobering.”

While some politicians propose adding millions more Americans to Medicare, headlines like these drawrenewed attention to the risks of moving millions of Americans out of employer-provided and other private coverage and into a one-size-fits-all “Medicare for all” system run by Washington:

  • “Medicare’s fiscal outlook deteriorates…” The Washington Post
  • Trustees’ Report Paints Grim Picture Of Medicare’s Insolvency…”Kaiser Health News
  • “Medicare hospital fund reserves likely to be exhausted in 2026…”Reuters
  • “… Medicare Funds Face Insolvency …”The New York Times

Underscoring the severity of the problem, The Wall Street Journal reports that the “latest projections suggest the [program’s funding] problem could affect not only future retirees, but also current ones.  Today’s newest retirees will be 72 when Medicare’s hospital trust fund is depleted … said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  ‘That fact that we now can’t guarantee full benefits to current retirees is completely unacceptable…’”

Meanwhile, Modern Healthcare notes that the report “should cause concern for hospitals” because, as The Associated Press reports, the program’s projected shortfalls “could mean that hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical providers would be paid only part of their agreed-upon fees.”  With many hospitals already facing serious financial stress, The New York Times reports that experts are growing increasingly worried about the “violent upheaval” a one-size-fits-all health care system like Medicare for all would cause the nation’s hospitals, noting that “[s]ome hospitals, especially struggling rural centers, would close virtually overnight…”

This week’s troubling report on the fiscal health of Medicare is the latest reminder that – rather than continuing to push for a risky, costly one-size-fits-all government-run health care system – our leaders should focus on protecting and building upon what is working in American health care, while coming together to fix what isn’t.



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