The Medicare Trustee’s Board released a report detailing the sooner-than-expected exhaustion of the Medicare and Social Security Trust fund’s last week. Under the assumptions of this report, Medicare would begin to pay out more than it takes in beginning in 2024, rather than 2029, as predicted a year ago. Social Security surpluses will also be exhausted one year earlier than anticipated in the previous report, in 2036. An increase in life expectancy, stagnant wages creating less than expected tax revenue and an increase in medical costs are all causes attributed to the acceleration of each program’s demise.
This report will serve as fodder for partisans on both sides of the aisle in their negotiations over the debt limit increase and overall deficit reduction efforts this summer.