Arlington, VA – The following is a statement from Howard Bedlin, National Council on Aging (NCOA) Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy on the 2017 Medicare Trustees Report:
“The 2017 Medicare Trustees Report offers good news for Americans who rely on Medicare to age with dignity and independence.
“According to the report, the Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is fully funded through 2029—one year longer than projected last year. After then, Part A faces a modest shortfall, but could still pay 88% of its obligations. Medicare Trust Fund solvency relates only apply to Part A Hospital Insurance, which comprises less than one-third of Medicare spending. Claims that the Medicare program is going broke or will be insolvent are simply not true.
“The report shows that Medicare continues to have historically low rates of spending growth due to provisions of the Affordable Care Act and to reductions in hospital admissions. Last year, HI per person costs increased by only 0.3 percent.
“We must continue to work on a bipartisan basis to protect and strengthen Medicare’s finances beyond 2029. There is strong consensus among experts that the best way to ensure Trust Fund solvency is to enact polices that reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations among beneficiaries.
“Evidence indicates that community-based services play a key role in achieving this. Their ability to provide cost-effective programs across a spectrum of needs—such as care coordination, falls prevention, nutrition, and chronic disease management—help to reduce hospital and emergency room visits, and merit additional targeted investments.
“NCOA is ready to work with Congress on bipartisan efforts to protect and strengthen all parts of Medicare for years to come.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.