Medicare is in deeper risk of going broke, before problems of Social Security even begin to get bad. Medicare provides health insurance for 41 million elderly and disabled people in the USA. It is projected to exhaust its hospital care trust fund by 2019, just 14 years from now.
When Medicare and Social Security passed, Republicans overwhelmingly voted against both. Democrats overwhelmingly voted for both. It would appear that the politics have not changed. Republican Governors are now hinting that they do not wish to participate in Medicaid programs in their states. This means that some states will have Medicaid programs and some will not. Is it possible that people will immigrate to other states to find good health care in time of cirisis?
Medicare is considered the most important safety net for elderly people. It keeps them from going broke, and from losing their lives, during the years when they are not wage owners. Yet there have been few in D.C. to acknowledge the problem. Senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said "We must urgently grasp this situation, and act. Americans cannot afford to ignore the reality. Each year that we do nothing, the gap will grow by $2 trillion."
Some believe that the Republicans want the system to go broke, so that they can eliminate it. But, for political reasons, they want it to go down silently, without the public, especially the voting elderly, to know what is happening.
Everyone agrees that the only way to save Medicare is by a tax increase, yet the current leaders in Washington continue to give tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, and refuse to deal with the deepening deficit. This will be a bigger issue than Social Security, when it hits the radar screen of the public. Stay Tuned!