The Trustees of the Medicare program have released their annual report, in which they conclude that the program is expected to remain solvent until 2024.
Yet, Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster, in his “Statement of Actuarial Opinion,” concludes that “the financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range…or the long range.” As Avik Roy explains:
Medicare’s reimbursements to doctors are scheduled to drop by 31 percent on January 1, 2013. Only then is Medicare solvent until … 2024. If Congress passes another of its numerous “doc fixes,” Medicare’s insolvency will be even closer at hand. The optimistic insolvency estimate from the Trustees will require “unprecedented changes in health care delivery systems and payment mechanisms,” without which Medicare fees “are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing those services.”