Medicare trustees just released their annual report on the program's finances and it does not make for healthy reading. In fact the main headline takeaway is that the social security fund itself will now run dry three years sooner than was projected in 2011. While 2035, the new deadline, seems a long way off, the 5% rise in medicare costs in 2011 should be enough to worry most and perhaps more disturbing is the separate disability program is set to run dry in 2016 (two years earlier than expected) and Medicare is to be depleted by 2014. Headlines via Bloomberg:
- *MEDICARE COSTS RISE 5 PERCENT TO $549 BILLION IN 2011 :UNH US
- *LONG-TERM PROJECTIONS FOR MEDICARE WORSEN, TRUSTEES SAY :UNH US
- *HOSPITALS TO FACE MEDICARE PAYMENT CUTS IN 2024, U.S. SAYS
- *TRUSTEES SAY FUND TO RUN OUT THREE YEARS EARLIER THAN PREDICTED
Added Tim Geithner's ever-positive spin-fest...