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View Diary: Medicare also going over the "cliff" (108 comments)

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  •  Doctor patch and depletion of trust fund (0+ / 0-)

    You should realize that the only way the part A trust fund lasts until 2024 is that the Medicare Trustees assume an immediate return to the sustainable growth rate -- ie the 26% cut referred to. The trustees have acknowledged that this is "improbable", and give an alternate depletion date of 2017. After the trust fund is depleted, Medicare will pay out only as much as current income covers - ie about a 25% immediate cut at that time. (Parts B and D are funded primarily from general tax revenues and have their own problems.)

    Sorry, there are no good solutions. The solution will involve higher medicare taxes, lower payments to providers, and lower benefits.

    Please note that the doctor patch -- aka kicking the can down the road -- has been bipartisan. The sustainable growth rate level of payments for services has been waived since 2003. The blame for the irresponsibility of Congress is in both parties.

    With all due respect to your profession, David, you and other doctors will have to take less. I agree, you are not in the top 1%. You are in the top 10% and that should be enough.

    •  The cliff deal includes additional revenue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the form of an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on people with incomes over, I think, the $400,000/$450,000 level. I'm not sure if it's on earned income or all income.

      In any event, it is additional revenue to help Medicare solvency.

      I suspect we may see higher premiums for upper-income Medicare participants -- they're already a bit higher but will likely go up.

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