Statement on 2019 Medicare Trustees Report

Rick Pollack
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

April 22, 2019

 

America’s hospitals and health systems remain concerned by the Medicare Trustees Report’s projection that the hospital trust fund will be depleted by 2026 due in part to more people needing care as over 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every single day. The life of the trust fund is influenced by a variety of economic factors as well.   

It is important to note these estimates only address Part A of the Medicare program, which has become a smaller proportion of overall Medicare spending as the delivery system changes. Given that the projection remains unchanged from a year ago, we continue to urge Congress to shore up the long-term viability of the trust fund. Solutions to address this problem must include tackling the skyrocketing costs of drugs for hospitals, which will continue to grow at an increasingly fast rate in coming years. Policymakers should also consider structural reforms to the program that will have a real long-term impact, such as additional means testing for higher income beneficiaries, raising eligibility age to be consistent with the Social Security program, phasing in adjustments to the FICA contributions that fund the program, reducing regulatory burden and accelerating delivery system reforms that better coordinate care, especially for the chronically ill. 

Hospitals and health systems have been working to keep cost growth down while simultaneously providing the best quality health care for all patients. We stand ready to work with policymakers and other stakeholders to continue to ensure Medicare is there for future generations.

 

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Contact:       

 

Colin Milligan, (202) 638-5491 cmilligan@aha.org

Arika Trim, (202) 626-2319 atrim@aha.org

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