Current Trends in Medicare and Social Security

Current Trends in Medicare and Social Security

When Social Security was first implemented, it was well-supported and incurred no deficit or debt. For every person retiring and relying on Social Security, many more were contributing to it through payroll deductions. However, neither Social Security nor Medicare considered future changes in the United States' population or economy. Now, with the Baby Boomer generation at retirement age, the number of people drawing on Social Security and Medicare is about to rise exponentially. While Social Security is projected to remain financially stable for the next few decades, Medicare is at risk of falling into debt.

In January 2011, the first Baby Boomers will begin to turn sixty-five and will qualify for Medicare. Half as many people will be benefiting from Medicare as will be working and contributing to it, a ratio projected to cause the system to fall into deficit. As people continue to live longer, Medicare is likely to suffer further. Deductibles and premiums may increase considerably faster than income. Bush's 2005 bill directed Medicare to absorb the costs of medication for the newly-retiring population, further increasing government health care spending for the elderly.

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