The fund Medicare uses to pay hospitals will run out in the next 15 years, and experts say there are no easy answers to solve it.
Certainly not politically easy answers, and that does matter. However, the practical answer is quite simple, if expensive in the transition.
Keep everyone 55 and older in the current Medicare system, with the individual option to leave that system in favor of the one I’ve proposed many times and summarize here. It’s important to note also that the “experts” are referring only to Medicare Part A, the hospitalization part. My reform is broader and applies to Medicare Parts B, payments to physicians, and D, drug coverage.
Rescind the payroll taxes from both the employer and younger-than-55 employee, while requiring the employee to put his payroll tax equivalent into what would be essentially a Health Savings Account. This New Model HSA would contain investment vehicles of the account owner’s choosing—including stocks, bonds, mutual funds for the same, bank savings accounts, etc—and be held for the benefit of the account holder. Unlike the Old Model HSA, with its shameful limits, the NMHSA would have no income limits on contributions, no annual limits on contributions, no requirement to have a High Deductible Health Coverage Policy, none of those government-mandated limits.
Of course, this can’t happen in a vacuum. In conjunction with this, the bankrupt* Social Security system needs to be similarly privatized, also, and the overly expensive Medicare system blocked granted, on a declining-to-zero schedule, to the States. These need to be done, too, with significant tax rate reductions and Federal spending cuts (and not just one-time gimmicks or reductions in spending growth).
Most, if not all of the cost of the transition can be covered by that spending and taxing reform.
*Bankrupt: not strictly so because in a few short years, while the Social Security Trust Fund will be emptied of money, current payroll taxes still will be available to make the payouts, requiring the payouts to drop to 75% of their presently scheduled values.
Update: Corrected an empty reference to Part C to the correct reference to Part D.