A policy analyst says a new report stating the federal Medicare
trust fund has another two years before running out of cash is
According to the Medicare trustees report, the Medicare trust fund will run dry
in 2026 - which is two years later than previously thought.
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,
"So we still have the trust fund as part of a liability, as part
of an unfunded obligation," she tells OneNewsNow. "So, really, this
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.