Is Medicare Becoming a Welfare Program?

Payroll taxes that fund Part A (hospital expenses) now cover less than half the cost of Medicare’s total spending. (See the chart.) Increasingly, the program is being supported from general tax revenues instead. About three-fourths of Part B and Part D costs are met by the general fund of the Treasury. Beneficiary premiums are about 25 percent of Part B spending and 13 percent of Part D spending.

Source: Richard S. Foster, Chief Actuary, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Comments (9)

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  1. Kyle says:

    Is this adjusted for the payroll tax holiday that was reimbursed from the general fund?

  2. Floccina says:

    It really has never been anything but a welfare program.

  3. Andrea Sanders says:

    Medicare is already a welfare program…a broke, depleted, exhausted, ruined, impoverished welfare program looking to transfer all the medical costs of today’s elderly to future generations.

  4. Alex says:

    It’s a program designed to take from those who are statistically the poor (young) to give to the rich (old). Let’s kill the program and save the trouble of making it solvent.

  5. Devon Herrick says:

    I’ve never really thought of it this way. Programs that are funded by contributions have more universal support than welfare programs. The problem with Medicare is that the people who depend on it don’t realize (or don’t care) that their contributions are not what support it. As a result, beneficiaries resist any change even though fundamental reform is needed.

  6. Cameron says:

    Interesting post as always.

  7. Robert says:

    I understand now why most of America has exorbitant amounts of credit card debt and the ridiculous notion to spend money that one doesn’t have…

  8. Anton says:

    I notice the triangle between expenses and funding. Whats with that?

  9. Joshua Vermont says:

    Very enlightening analysis Ms. Gorman!