Tax Cuts and the Future of Medicare: Needlessly Painful Choices Could Affect Those Who Rely on Medicare Insurance

The recently passed Federal Tax cut legislation has inc neared the threat that the nation will not have sufficient revenues to meet the costs of Medicare, our most efficient health care system by 2030.

The congressional tax bill now moving toward final passage would add $1.45 trillion to the federal deficit between now and 2027, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates. If passed, the bill will accelerate deficit spending over the next five years, while ignoring imminently growing demands on Medicare that are right on the federal doorstep.

The baby boom generation is aging into the Medicare program, driving enrollment to historic highs. By 2030, more than 80 million Americans will rely on Medicare, up from nearly 57 million in 2016. This increase in enrollment promises spiking demand for health care services covered by Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), annual net Medicare spending (mandatory spending minus income from premiums and other offsetting receipts) will more than double over the next 10 years from $584 billion in 2018 to $1.2 trillion in 2027. CBO points out that spending per beneficiary is also likely to grow as new tests and treatments with high price tags become available.

– The Commonwealth Fund

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