The case for cutting Medicare and for repealing Obamacare is getting worse and worse all the time. This week's installment of bad news for the would-be cutters and repealers: the Medicare trustees' report, showing
an improved outlook
for the federal health program.
Medicare’s financial health is improving, according to a new official forecast that says that the program will remain solvent until 2030—four years later than anticipated a year ago—because of the Affordable Care Act and lower-than-expected spending on hospital stays.
For the more visually inclined, here's a chart showing how the life of the program has been extended over the past five years, courtesy of White House healthcare advisor Tara McGuinness
Healthcare spending continues to slow, a likely combination of the reforms in Obamacare and a still sluggish economy. But there's little question that the program reforms in Obamacare are a very real factor in these savings, and in strengthening the program.
The trustees also found little changes in the outlook for Social Security, estimating it is completely solvent until 2033, the same as last year's prediction, absent any changes to the program. The program has a large and growing surplus of $19.3 billion for 2014. Bottom line, neither program is in imminent danger of collapse, and neither program needs to be subjected to benefit cuts in order to save it. There's plenty of time for smart solutions to extend the lives of the programs beyond the next two decades that won't hurt retirees.
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