Health Care

Medicare insolvent in 2026, Social Security by 2034

Medicare insolvent in 2026, Social Security by 2034”

On Tuesday, Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees released their 2018 Annual Report which estimated significant shortfalls in Medicare as early as 2026 - three years earlier than last projected - and that the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted by 2034, the same year as previously reported, but concerning all the same.

Program trustees say Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 - three years earlier than previously forecast - and Social Security in 2034.

Social Security this year will spend more than it takes in, the program's trustees said in a new report Tuesday that signals the official beginning of the program's slide into insolvency.

The report said the total annual cost of Social Security is projected to exceed total annual income in 2018 for the first time since Ronald Reagan's presidency, meaning the program will have to tap into reserves.

His $1.5 trillion tax cut program reduced expected revenues for the two programs over coming years, The Wall Street Journal reported. Republicans say the programs must be revamped to ensure they will be solvent for baby boomers and their children.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), however, said President Trump's fiscal 2019 budget would strengthen "would strengthen the fiscal integrity of the Medicare program".

More than 62 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and surviving children receive Social Security benefits.

In another projection, the trustees estimate the hypothetical combined Social Security trust funds will be depleted in 2034 - no change from a year ago.

"The Administration's economic agenda - tax cuts, regulatory reform, and improved trade agreements - will generate the long-term growth needed to help secure these programs and lead them to a more stable path".

The White House claims the long-running economic boom will help secure Medicare and Social Security's future.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who also serves as a trustee for both programs, admitted there were "long-term issues", but dismissed concerns about the programs' future solvency.

Medicare's problems are widely seen as more hard to solve. It has added 7 million people since 2013. Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient visits, and Part D, which pays for most prescription drugs, are paid for in part by general revenue and by individuals' premiums. Medicare recipients' monthly premiums change annually based on these costs.

Their costs, however, are scheduledto grow from 2.1% of GDP in 2017 to 3.6% in 2037.

Information for this article was contributed by Robert Pear of The New York Times, and by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Andrew Taylor of The Associated Press.

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