BAUMAN: Medicare Is Set To Go Broke By 2026 — But The Feds Could Fix It

Naomi López Bauman | Goldwater Institute

The Medicare program, which provides health insurance to the nation's nearly 60 million elderly and disabled people, is bankrupt. According to the most recent. Medicare Beneficiaries Report, the hospital insurance program will face an "insolvency" in 2026 when the program's spending exceeds the incoming payroll taxes.

That is why Americans should be horrified to learn that the current rules of the program penalize the elderly who leave the program financially. In accordance with current administrative rules, an older person who leaves the Medicare program must also waive all Social Security benefit payments, including those received in previous years. This is no more than a financial trap that most of our nation's older adults, even those who have financial resources, can not escape.

What is also surprising is that there is no law that requires older people to forego their Social Security benefits if they leave the Medicare program. There has never been an executive order or a law of Congress that imposes this strong penalty. Rather, it is the result of an administrative rule of the Clinton era that never had a public discussion or deliberation in Congress before being imposed on the elderly of our nation, essentially converting what should be a voluntary program into a mandatory one. , except for those who could afford to give up everything. of their Social Security benefits and reimburse those received up to that moment.

Currently there are two efforts to deal with this parody. The first is a online petition, "Freedom to NOT CHOOSE Medicare, "released by The Council of Citizens for Freedom of Health. (CCHF).

"Making this change will NOT have any impact on those who have registered, wish to remain enrolled or wish to enroll in Medicare in the future, "said CCHF President Twila Brase. "It simply allows seniors to collect their legitimate Social Security benefits without being required to enroll or remain enrolled in Medicare Part A."

A letter signed by dozens of groups of experts and support organizations across the country that were sent to the president in November, he explains that because this rule is not a law, but rather "an internal and sub-regional instruction inserted in a manual of program operations without authorization from Congress and without public notice. " and comment on the regulation. " It can be reversed through executive action, which means that the president has the authority to reverse it.

The second way to rectify this is the Law of Freedom of Retirement.. Legislation sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) And Mike Lee (R-Utah) allows older adults to opt for Medicare Part A without forcing them to waive their Medicare benefits. Social Security.

The reform of the nation's Medicare program should be a priority for lawmakers in Washington. Unfortunately, most political discussions revolve around duplicating this unsustainable program. Meanwhile, administrative rules limit the ability of older adults to leave the program to meet their needs and preferences on their own.

In the absence of structural reform, legislators must recognize the inherent injustice of creating financial hostages from the elderly in our nation. No older adult should lose their Social Security benefits if they choose not to participate in Medicare and seek coverage on their own.

Americans who want to spend their own money on their own medical care, at no cost to taxpayers, should be free to do so without financial threats or bureaucratic obstacles. The president and Congress have the authority to restore that freedom, freeing the nation's older adults from the Medicare trap. They should do it now.

Naomi Lopez Bauman He is the director of health care policy at the Goldwater Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Arizona that aims to promote limited government.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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