Medicare trust fund to be depleted years earlier than expected, trustees project

A Medicare Trustees report released Tuesday finds that Medicare’s trust fund will be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than last year’s report found.

“The Trustees recommend that Congress and the executive branch work closely together with a sense of urgency to address the depletion of the [trust fund] and the projected growth [in spending],” the trustees report states.

What it means: Benefits don’t disappear in those years, but beneficiaries will see decreases in their benefits if the problem isn’t fixed.

However: The Social Security Trust Fund is projected to remain solvent until 2034, no change from last year’s projection.

Democrats used the new information to attack Republicans and President Trump for their tax law.

  • “This report should eliminate any doubt that Trump’s tax law yanked Medicare closer to insolvency. Between reviving junk insurance plans, sending premiums into the stratosphere, and doing serious damage to Medicare’s finances, the president’s rap sheet on health care gets worse by the day.” – Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Finance Committee.
  • “The staggering costs in the lives of seniors from the Republicans’ brazen corporate and special interest agenda become clearer every day.  The GOP tax scam’s massive, unpaid-for giveaways to the wealthiest 1 percent and big corporations have gravely undermined the future of Medicare and Social Security, and now Republicans want America’s seniors to pay the bill.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Republicans, meanwhile, used the report to highlight the need for reforms.

  • “As today’s reports show, the nation’s Medicare program will be in the red in less than a decade – by 2026 – and the Social Security combined disability and retirement trust funds will be exhausted in 2034. With Social Security facing more than $34 billion of unfunded future liabilities, we must not turn a blind eye. We should keep our attention focused on reforming these programs so that they can truly benefit future generations.” – Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Finance Committee.

The Hill has more on this study

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