Medicare not so broke? Not so fast, says analyst

Tuesday, June 4, 2013
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

A policy analyst says a new report stating the federal Medicare trust fund has another two years before running out of cash is "meaningless."

According to the Medicare trustees report, the Medicare trust fund will run dry in 2026 - which is two years later than previously thought.

Villarreal

Pam Villarreal, a financial expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis, explains that the Medicare funds cited in the report pay seniors' hospital bills. But the money is actually put into the general revenue fund, not used for actual medical bills, she says.

"So we still have the trust fund as part of a liability, as part of an unfunded obligation," she tells OneNewsNow. "So, really, this is meaningless."

Villarreal says the same could be said about the Social Security trust fund, which is still running out of money in 2033.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration welcomes the news of a stronger Medicare, and says the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is helping.

"Well, here's the problem with that," Villarreal says. "The cuts in Medicare are based on obviously the assumption that all of the cuts are going to go through under the Affordable Care Act."

Villarreal says one thing being assumed is that Medicare Advantage will experience cuts even though millions of seniors are on the plan. Another assumption is that physicians will experience rate cuts, even though Villarreal says rate cuts have been averted in the past or put in at a much lower rate than planned.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What factor in the 'Brexit' vote most closely aligns with the concerns expressed by Donald Trump?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

British political turmoil deepens after EU referendum
Train hits van in Colo. killing 5, including 3 children
Israeli official: Reconciliation deal reached with Turkey
Roller coaster derails at Scottish theme park, 10 injured
14 hurt, including 2 firefighters, in fire truck collision
For Trump and Brexit voters, echoes of the same frustrations
Kerry urges Britain, EU to manage their divorce responsibly
Owners of AR-style firearms defend their weapon of choice

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Barack Obama: The most pro-Islamic president ever
Journalist: Orlando aftermath proves 'the left is insane'
Defenseless in the face of our enemies
By all means, let’s vote on these commonsense gun laws for the children!
Quotas by any other name

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Amnesty compromise not popular with Republicans

An immigration enforcement advocate does not think the House of Representatives is prepared to go along with the recently passed Senate immigration bill which would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.