The legislation is always difficult when there is a major problem for politicians to solve. Most especially when it comes to health care, Congress never seems to agree on how to accomplish it. Because Medicare is a successful part of the Social Security Act, amendments depend solely on need and what it will take to implement a new benefit. It is a hot topic in government circles because funding and budget deficits are critical factors. Deciphering what is good and bad with Medicare provides areas where improvements will need to be made and where issues will likely arise.
Medicare has been the successful because of the enrollment of millions of Americans who would not have health care otherwise. As Social Security set aside payroll taxes, it guaranteed the program would last for decades. The United States government has also amended Medicare to add benefits which show it is capable of expanding successfully.
Before the Medicare Amendment in 1965, families were responsible for medical costs. Retirement included medical care savings. Now that Medicare is in its 53rd year, Americans now depend on Social Security benefits because of contributions. There is great support among recipients as their ability to maintain the program has instilled a level of confidence that lets them know their eligibility will be available to offset medical costs. It also gives people the freedom to use their resources for other needs.
Unlike when you move to a new job, insurance coverage is not guaranteed. When a person qualifies for Medicare, eligibility and benefit availability will not change even if you relocate to another state which is part of its wider appeal.
Medicare has limited scope for inpatient, outpatient or lab costs. While it does cover primary needs, the premiums and deductibles are high, such as for heart-related issues. It also has incremental deductibles based on the length of a patient’s stay. The government also does not pay for prescriptions which is an issue for the growing number of patients with chronic illnesses. Medications are also unaffordable unless they have supplemental insurance. What is Medicare Supplement Insurance with AARP? Medicare Advantage is available through the private sector which provides medical, dental, vision and prescription care.
As the baby boomers have aged out and newer workers are becoming eligible for Medicare, it takes about 15 percent of the government’s annual budget to subsidize the program. The U.S. government will also deplete its Part A portion of funds by 2026, so there is direct concern from continuing workers that this program and benefit will be unavailable when they retire. As the federal deficit continues to grow, it also leaves many to wonder if benefits will get reduced to satisfy budgeting concerns.
This has been an issue several times before, so the probability of it ending is unlikely. Moreover, politicians know that taxpayers rely on this benefit and will not want to be the side that ends it.