Mar. 24, 2005 – Numbers released yesterday by the administrators of the Medicare trust fund predict that the health care program will begin running a deficit as early as 2020. Though the forecast is one year more optimistic than the last annual report, it portrays the programâ€™s potential funding shortfalls as much more severe than those of the Social Security system, which is expected to be fully funded until at least 2041, by the governmentâ€™s most conservative estimates.
As a result of the looming insolvency, the Medicare trustees predicted that the out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors and people with disabilities covered by the program will again increase as early as 2006. The release of the new numbers prompted fresh calls for the government to control the cost of health care, which has been steadily rising and is driven by private companies.