Commentary

Medicare Goes Bust in Eight Years

By Twila Brase | October 12, 2018 | 2:48pm EDT
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Medicare is going bust in 8 years. According to the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, by 2026, there will be insufficient funds for care and access to physicians will become a major problem. Eight years is very short. Every politician is afraid to have Medicare fail on their watch, so they won’t get rid of Obamacare because they NEED the health plans.

In order to sustain the Medicare program, doctors and hospitals will have to be paid less and Americans will have to pay higher taxes. Current Medicare patients are using the money (payroll taxes) that today’s workers are paying. Many recipients (I don’t call them beneficiaries) will receive three times as much out of Medicare as they put into it in payroll taxes. It’s being bankrolled by their grandchildren.

Purveyors of Medicare-for-all think they can save the system by forcing everyone in the nation into it, but single-payer is a sure path to medical misery and to a system without kindness, caring or charity. The Trustee’s report states “unless providers could alter their use of inputs to reduce their cost per service correspondingly, Medicare’s payments for health services would fall increasingly below providers’ costs. Providers could not sustain continuing negative margins and would have to withdraw from serving Medicare beneficiaries.” If correct, health care will become like conveyor-belt care on a factory floor.

Medicare has been hemorrhaging cash since 2008. In 2007, Medicare assets were 150 percent of expenses, but in 2018, assets are only 65 percent of expenses. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) had 165 Medicare-related provisions, including a half-billion-dollar cut in funding. Medicare Trustees suggest a payroll tax increase or an immediate cut of 17 percent in spending. Ten thousand baby boomers enter Medicare every day. Isn’t it time to let them keep private insurance?

For more insights on Medicare from Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, see their 17 points about Medicare report.

Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” She is president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a national, patient-centered health freedom organization that exists to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. Brase is also the author of the new book, “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records,” Beaver’s Pond Press, July 11, 2018.

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