The next round in the debate over the future of Medicare is here and is likely to be louder and more consequential than any the country has experienced since Medicare was created in 1965.
“Broke” is an informal way of saying “bankrupt.” Or, as the dictionary says, “penniless.” President Obama and Vice President Biden in the past have also used this word to the describe Medicare’s finances, so Ryan is certainly not alone in using this misleading phrasing.
First of all, there are four parts to Medicare, which covers 55 million people: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage — private plans for parts A and B), and Part D (prescription drug plans). Total Medicare expenditures were $648 billion in 2015, according to the latest Medicare trustees report.
But when politicians say “broke,” they are not talking about all of Medicare — just Part A, which covers hospital visits, hospice care, nursing facilities and the like.
– The Washington Post