I think this week’s discussion board topic is really interesting and more complex than I realized at first. I think Medicare is very helpful for our elderly population, and I think it is important to make sure they are adequately being taken care of even if they might be seen as economically “non-productive.”
The long-term debt of Medicare is in the trillions, and the risk of Medicare running out of funds is troubling to many Americans. This is because the population of our older generation continues to grow relatively more than the workforce that is contributing the funds. Many young people are fine with paying their payroll tax to Medicare because the benefits of Medicare have been promised to them, but what happens if there are simply not enough funds for everyone later on? I do not think the system is unfair; however, I do not think it is sustainable long-term.
According to the 2021 annual report by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, there are long-term financial inadequacies for both social security and medicare (Social Security Administration, 2021). There is even less payroll tax being accumulated now for Medicare as the COVID-19 pandemic left a large percentage of Americans without jobs (Rovner, 2020). Also, the COVID-19 CARES Act used $60 billion from Medicare’s trust fund (Farrell, 2021). The solution to this problem seems very complex, but needs to be addressed quickly, as time is of the essence.
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