Analysts Extend Forecast For Medicare Funds

According to a recent Washington Post article, analysts have extended the forecast for Medicare funds an additional 12 years.

Medicare’s finances have been strengthened by the new law setting in motion broad changes to the nation’s health care system, according to a government forecast issued, which says the fund that pays for older Americans’ hospital care will last a dozen years longer than expected.

The report, prepared annually by the trustees who monitor the two enormous federal entitlement programs for the elderly — Social Security and Medicare — says that the Social Security system has, at least for now, been damaged more severely than Medicare by the weak economy. For the first time in nearly three decades, the report says, Social Security will pay out more in retirement checks this year and in 2011 than it will take in through payroll taxes.

The relatively bright picture of Medicare’s future triggered immediate debate over whether the forecast by the trustees, all members of President Obama’s Cabinet, is realistic.

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