The PJ Tatler

Medicare Fund to Run Dry in 2030, but Trustees Say It's on 'Better Footing'

Politispeak 101

A slowdown in healthcare spending has shored up the funding outlook for the federal program that pays elderly Americans’ hospital bills, trustees of the program said on Wednesday.

The Medicare program’s trust fund for hospital care will run out of money in 2030 the trustees said in a report. That was the same year as in their previous estimate, although the trustees said the program now appears on better footing over the longer term.

When the fund runs out of money, Washington would only be able to partially cover its obligations.

The trustees urged U.S. politicians to enact new laws to keep that from happening, though they said the funding gap over the longer run appears narrowed thanks to signs that healthcare costs would be lower in the future.

So…it’s no better than it was before but it’s better.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the United States federal bureaucracy.

All of this is predicated on the projection of lower future health care costs, which is a rather bold leap of faith for a program that has been wildly over original cost projections since its inception.

This will, of course, continue to be a mess in the age of timid, can-kicking legislators. Any real attempts by Republicans to shore it up will be used to scare voters with lies about it being “decimated.” The Republicans will then become terrified and reverse course, thus creating the appearance that the Democrat fear mongering was right.

It’s a bureaucratic sinkhole that has no bottom.

But it’s in better shape or something.