Another year, updated reports and more dire reality straight ahead for Medicare and Social Security. While Bernie Sanders and company are pitching “Medicare For All”, Medicare for the already on it is soon about to end as we have known it. I’ve likened the looming Medicare and Social Security insolvencies to the scene in the first Austin Powers movie where a character can see a slow-moving steam roller coming straight at him but doesn’t move. Opting instead for standing in place and screaming until it’s too late. The analogy still applies, and that roller is closer than ever before.
The updated Medicare trustee report shows Medicare’s current solvency will become insolvent in 2026 and will only be able to meet 89% of obligations in year one of insolvency, with subsequent years becoming worse. Only socialist politicians would see a program already set to become insolvent and decide that everyone should be on it, that is, after all, the anti-American way. In the meantime, there’s no clear path towards improvement and no political will to make drastic changes that would be required to keep insolvency from occurring. I wish I had better news here, but I don’t, and this is a reality. At a minimum you can pass this on to the young and ignorant that might support Bernco Healthcare and help save this country from an even bigger dumpster fire in the future.
Looking at Social Security the good news is that we’ve got a whole 16 years before it’s insolvent. According to the trustee, insolvency will only be able to meet 93% of obligations in year one. Now here’s the thing, in the grand scheme of things, Social Security’s situation is currently far less dire in time horizon, initial insolvency and options for reform than Medicare. In other words, would the responsible thing be to reform Social Security now? Yes. Is it a must? No, there’s time and room for fixes. Medicare is a different ballgame altogether. We don’t have much time for fixes and the consequences of insolvency could literally prove to be a matter of life and death for many seniors. But in the words of one of my favorite corporate execs in radio, "The fastest way to get better is to stop doing the bad stuff". That means, for now, we should end this charade of “Medicare for All” and do everything possible to eliminate fraud in the program. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 11% of Medicare spending is fraud and/or improper payments.
Did I mention the year one projected shortfall was 11%? By stopping the bad stuff, we can buy ourselves a lot more time.
Photo by: Getty Images