Biden ignores warnings from Medicare administrators and the law | Staff columnists
This balanced mixture no longer exists. General revenues have assumed the largest share of Medicare funding since 2009. In 2016, general revenues exceeded 45% – the level deemed sufficiently “excessive” to warrant Medicare administrators issuing a “funding warning. “official. Obviously, what was originally conceived as a “social insurance” program is turning into another federal income transfer program.
Its costs are growing faster than national health spending, private insurance and the national economy. With general revenues, taxpayers now provide about three in four premium dollars for Part B (medical services) and Part D (prescription drugs) benefits.
In raw numbers, the transfer from general taxpayers to Medicare will almost double over the next decade, from $ 356.2 billion to $ 705.3 billion. Over the next 20 years, Medicare would consume about 26% of all federal tax revenue, dramatically reducing the resources available for other federal programs – from defense and transportation to education and wellness.
Medicare, along with other benefit expenses, is a major driver of federal deficits and debt. The latter now exceeds 28 trillion dollars, an alarming figure which itself deserves a formal warning.
But that conventional debt figure is eclipsed by unfunded Medicare obligations, the dollar value of the benefits Medicare has promised to provide that are not paid for with dedicated income. Total unfunded Medicare obligations now stand at $ 45.7 trillion, or roughly $ 140,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States