The Republicans’ pledge to dismantle and eventually replace the Affordable Care Act has been getting considerable attention in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. But once the new GOP-controlled Congress takes action in January, there could be plenty more fireworks when Republican leaders turn their attention to Medicare, the popular but pricey health care program serving 57 million seniors.
Medicare, created in the mid-1960s to guarantee health care coverage for seniors and retirees, is a complex system that includes Part A for hospital insurance, Part B for doctor and medical insurance, private plans called Medicare Advantage, and the Part D subsidized prescription drug plan. The government spent a total of $648 billion on Medicare in 2015. And while the Medicare trust funds are relatively solvent for the time being, Medicare Part A which is dependent on payroll taxes will be “depleted” by 2028 unless the government intervenes, according to a trustees’ report.
– The Fiscal Times