Social Security has 16 years left before benefit cuts begin, report says

Social Security has 16 years left before benefit cuts begin, report says

The Trump administration says Medicare is going to run out of money three years earlier than previously expected.

The projected depletion date for the Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund was moved up to late 2034 from last year's estimate of early 2035, and after depletion is projected to pay 77% of benefits.

The solvency of the Medicare trust fund, the main United States public health insurance program, deteriorated over the last year and could be exhausted by 2026 - two years earlier than previously estimated.

Worse, by 2034, those reserves will be drained to the point where Social Security will have to reduce recipients' scheduled benefits.

A separate projection released on Tuesday showed it will become insolvent in 2034 - the same estimate as a year ago.

Last year, Medicare covered more than 58 million people, about 50 million of whom were 65 or older, and almost 9 million were disabled. After that, the government predicts it will be able to pay 91 percent of promised benefits.

Trump to stick with hard line on trade as G7 showdown looms
Anger over Trump's trade policies will occupy center stage at Friday's G7 meeting of the world's most advanced economies. The president is set to meet with leaders from Mexico, Canada , Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Medicare, the program that provides health care for older Americans and those who are disabled, is covered by two big trust funds.

Medicare Part B premiums - which cover visits to physicians and other outpatient costs - should remain stable next year, the trustees said. Nor has he endorsed higher taxes to finance the programs, as some Democrats have suggested.

The trustees report is considered an annual wake-up call for the beleaguered programs, though consensus around ways to secure their future remains elusive.

While costs have exceeded net income since 2010, this is the first time in more than three decades that spending is expected to outweigh total income, by about $2 billion, meaning asset reserves will decline.

They attributed the circumstances to last year's lower-than-expected wages, revenue-cutting legislation, heightened spending and an aging US population. Social Security and Medicare account for 42% of all federal spending.

The Cabinet secretaries for Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor usually participate in the annual release of the report on Social Security and Medicare, along with the Social Security commissioner, and take questions from reporters. The aging population has squeezed the program, pushing costs up and revenues down. The trustees project that Medicare costs will grow from about 3.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to 5.8 percent by 2038, and will continue to rise to about 6.2 percent of GDP by 2092.

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