The year Medicare becomes insolvent, according to the Medicare Trustees Report for 2012, released in April. The date is the same as in the prior year’s report but is eight years later than the trustees believe funds would expire without the provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act to reward efficient, quality care. The trustees, who include the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Social Security departments, say Medicare is stable for now, and Medicare expenditures in 2011, at $549 billion, were lower than expected. But action is still needed to secure its long-term future.1 The report states that Medicare’s Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund is financially balanced, although some critics have offered far less sanguine projections for the future of the Medicare program, based on its annual and cumulative cash shortfalls.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The 2012 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website. Available at: http://www.cms.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2012.pdf. Accessed May 30, 2012.