How Medicare could help stem spiraling healthcare costs

Half of Americans ages 65 or older had no health insurance when President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, and today only 2 percent have no coverage. However, considering that by 2050 the 65-and-older population will be almost double what it was in 2012, Medicare finances are unsustainable, according to an opinion piece from Time magazine. The Hospital Insurance fund is projected to run dry in 2030, and the Supplementary Medical Insurance trust fund is expected to put more strain on government and household budgets if healthcare inflation takes off because it gets 75 percent of its funding from general tax revenues. One way to fix the problem would be to change the law to allow the government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Some conservatives, on the other hand, argue for strategies such as raising the eligibility age or giving people a voucher to purchase private health insurance plans. Either way, Medicare is "part of the solution, not the problem," of rising healthcare costs, the article concludes. Article

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