Medicare in Intensive Care

Via the Washington Post:

The financial troubles daunting the Medicare system have deepened during the past year, according to a government forecast that says the federal fund that pays for hospital care for older Americans will become unable to cover all its bills a dozen years from now.

The annual report, issued yesterday by the trustees who monitor the fiscal health of the Medicare and Social Security programs, said the trust fund for the health insurance system for the elderly will run out of money in 2018 -- two years sooner than predicted a year ago and 12 years sooner than had been anticipated when President Bush first took office.
That pretty much speaks for itself, but let's think about it for a moment.

Republicans love to rail against programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. The idea of helping those less fortunate than themselves is at odds with their belief system, apparently. But most Americans, being good and decent people not on the payroll of large corporations, like Medicare and Social Security.

So Republicans have a problem. How do they get rid of hugely popular government programs? They can't just cut them and use the leftover money for tax cuts for corporations and new military contracts to Haliburton. It looks bad.

Why not just underfund the programs and let the coming retirement of the baby-boomers crush them?

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