Some are saying that Medicare needs to be rescued, but it’s the people who depend on it who need to be rescued. Medicare is not sustainable without changes. According to the Congressional Budget Office and the federal Medicare trustee, if there’s no intensive reform, Medicare will go bankrupt in 12 years. That would be by 2024.
The end of Medicare could be disastrous for an aging population, and added pressure on the system is coming with the Baby Boomer generation heading into their retirement. Millions of people will need insurance over the next few years, and it all has to be paid for. So, what is the current administration undertaking to save Medicare?
Reforms mainly affecting insurance companies and hospitals ─ not beneficiaries ─ are estimated to save $741 billion. Rep. Paul Ryan’s second plan would utilize similar reforms, but it holds a major change for those under age 55.
It replaces traditional Medicare with a voucher-like credit that some are calling premium support. Beneficiaries would be able to buy the two least expensive private insurance plans with that voucher as long as costs do not grow faster than GDP plus 0.5 percentage points.
For all practical purposes, ObamaCare, Ryan’s Plan, and anything else that our leaders in Washington are talking about do not even come close to addressing the broader problems. How do we pay for all these new retirees? How do we ensure that Medicare stays solvent and sustainable for future generations? How can the system possibly work when more people will be getting benefits than paying in?
Until these critical questions are answered, there is no real progress in my opinion. Also, the changes and reforms the system needs to survive will never be implemented until the people of the country start holding our politicians accountable. I have an idea to get Washington started on the right path: Take the 2 billion Obama and Romney are spending to get elected President and put it in the Medicare trust fund.
Jim McFadden has over 11 years of executive-level experience in the health insurance industry, is a youth baseball, softball and football coach, and has one of the worst fantasy football records in the world.