The publication of the annual trustees’ reports for Social Security and Medicare has become the occasion for some of the most consistently uninformed reporting on government programs of the year.
The release of both reports Tuesday was no exception. Within moments of their appearance, the Associated Press was tweeting, and later reported, that Medicare was projected to become “insolvent” in 2026, three years earlier than was projected last year.
Actually, no: The Medicare report projected that its hospital insurance trust fund, which applies to Medicare Part A, will be depleted in 2026. But since even then the program would be able to keep paying out more than 90% of scheduled benefits, it’s not anything like “insolvent.” As economist Dean Baker observes, at most it would be correct to say Medicare will face a “shortfall” in 2026, not insolvency.
– Los Angeles Times