Analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation
An excellent interactive explainer from KFF (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) offers a clear and succinct view into the somewhat mystifying universe of Medicare spending. You can scroll to start viewing the interactive.
|Medicare Part A in-out over time|
A Depleting Trust Fund
A particularly interesting chart shows how the solvency of the Part A trust fund presents challenges as those workers paying into the system become overwhelmed by the amounts that will need to be paid out (at right). The orange bars represent pay out, while the blue bars represent income to the fund.
I very plain language, when Medicare spends more money on Part A benefits, like hospital stays, than it brings in through payroll taxes, the assets in the Part A trust fund will gradually become depleted, and Medicare would not have enough money to pay for all Part A benefits from that point onward. If nothing is done to prevent it, the trust fund is expected to unravel slowly through the next decade.
What it Bodes
This isn't some doomsday prediction for partisan advantage; this report is based in cold, hard fact. Work should begin now to shore up the Part A trust fund, or the U.S. may face a dire future of rationed and/or restricted care [editor's opinion], where necessary medical care may be withheld and Americans' health will suffer. Other models have shown that when care isn't given when needed, more serious conditions arise and force higher costs, medical bankruptcies, and early death.