How to Pay for Medicare

Medicare, the health care program for the elderly, now provides insurance coverage for over 50 million Americans, and accounts for 20 percent of the $3 trillion spent annually on health care. Its share of the nation’s output and total health care spending has grown significantly over its first 50 years. Over the next 75 years, from 2016 to 2089, Medicare is projected to grow from 3.53 percent to 6.02 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This study diagnosis the unsustainable tenets of the Medicare system and proposes options for its reform. Such options include raising beneficiary premiums to cover excess cost growth, raising deductibles and copays, constraining the federal payment rate procedure and service, and ensuring that premium support payments rise at the same rate as per-capita GDP.

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