• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Chart of the Week: Medicare Spending Is Main Cause of Runaway Deficits

    Medicare is getting quite a bit of attention lately. And rightly so.

    Out-of-control entitlement spending contributes directly to long-term federal deficits, which will accelerate over the course of the next few decades, according to Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures and figures provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

    By 2030, Medicare alone will surpass other entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Obamacare. Before 2050, Medicare will exceed all other non-interest spending portions of the federal deficit. The program’s expansion will continue as more and more Baby Boomers retire and the U.S. population ages.

    With the combined entitlement spending alone gobbling up all federal tax revenue by 2045, all additional spending will add to burgeoning federal deficits.

    Learn more about Heritage’s ideas for reform in Saving the American Dream.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Chart of the Week: Medicare Spending Is Main Cause of Runaway Deficits

    1. Chuck says:

      Roughly 49 million are on Medicare and 9 million are less than 65 on it via Social Security Disability. My anecdotal impression (I'm a physician) is that 2/5 are really disabled. The roles a filling fast with younger people with temporary, treatable or imagined diagnoses. It is fast becoming the new welfare. It may be where those who, "quit looking for jobs", went and why they could quit looking. In any case this is a significant factor in the Medicare costs you report. P.S. When someone is paid becasue of their treatable illness it won't get better.

    2. Jim Keil says:

      Nothing will improve with any of this unless and until we get tort reforms of some sort in place. My low budget choice is LOSER PAYS all legal costs for both or all sides in a dispute.

    3. Dundalk47 says:

      What happens Post-Boomers? It seems to me that Medicare should go as follows: Start to increase in 2011 ( and it has) because 1945 baby boomers ( from 1945-1955?????) would be 65 in 2010. Peak in 2020 ( 1955 +65), and rapidly decrease and then drop to Zero affect in 2040 ( 1955 + 90). It should look something like a Bell curve. Plus, didn't birth rates drop to about 2.1 starting in 1960's ? SO, why doesn't the curve do that, and is that the solution – go in debt untill 2030, then start to recover. What would current medicare look like in 2060 After the boomers die.? Much less a Republican corrected Medicare and low-cost Robot-Doctors and Genetic pre-treatment.

    4. Jim Keil says:

      There will be no significant improvements to this situation unless and until we have serious tort reform My suggestion is LOSER PAYS all legal costs of both parties!

    5. Bill Witter says:

      I get really tired of hearing Social Security and Medicare called "Entitlements". I have been paying into Social Security since 1955 and Medicare since 1964. In fact, I still pay $100.00 per month for Medicare.
      It is not my fault that these 2 funde have been raided by Washington Politicians and are on the verge of being broke. If these funds had been properly handled, or if I had been forced to invest them on my own, I would be better off. (Much like our 401K funds) It does not surprise me to hear Washington politocrats call them "Entitlements", but it does bother me when a conservative blog such as yours jumps on the band wagon.

      • David Webster says:

        I agree. Why wont they tell us why and how much Medicare contributes to CURRENT deficit spending?

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The Democrats are putting their fingers in their ears and shouting: "LA LA LA! CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

    7. Hilda Davis says:

      The BILLIONS stolen mostly by foreigner's from Medicare is the cause of the losses. Check the convictions of many doctors, and companies that have committed the fraud during the past five (5) years and you'll see where I'm coming from. If they'd stop the fraud, there would be no problem, but no one wants to admit it.

    8. charlene0920@aol.com says:

      thats a crock of you know what.
      If we only took care of our own country (AMERICA ) and keep our noses here at home not all over the world, medicare as well as many other things would be exploding with money;
      The waste of money coming out of DC politicians is a sin, not mentioning the thievery also from them.
      I do see a revolution starting, people have had it, sick of it and if we have to fight to get it back, so be it.
      All the politicians need to be thrown out and start fresh with, with God our Father as our guide as it was in the beginning.
      That would exclude certain types of people , true, but it would be at least, for the good

    9. Robert Ivy says:

      A definition of entitlement spending is needed in order to clarify a program to which most workers contribute.
      Medicare is not an entitlement because it is contributed to by those who pay Social Security and are debited for it when drawing Social Security benefits. Please explain how this is an entitlement.

    10. dan [schmutz says:

      years ago they served a purpose, but has out grown it. happens to be nothing but a strong arm thing now in most cases. all people should be able to work at a job and not pay a union big yfees todoit.

    11. tnemptynester says:

      I don't believe that Medicare will surpass all the other entitlements like Medicaid, Social Security and Obama Care. Receipents of Medicare pay a monthly premium and also a co-pay for services. Medicare only pays 80% for services the rest is paid by the patient. Obama is the one who added more to the Medicare program. Medicaid reciepents do not pay any premium and receive medical care. Social Security was not originally designed to pay for children who's parent dies. It was for Seniors to have an income after retirmement. That program also was funded through payroll dedictions that both the employer and employees paid into.

    12. tnemptynester says:

      If the social security constibutions had been put in an interest bearing savings trust account and not raided by the government there would be enough funds to cover Social Secutiry.

      One problem with Social Security is that some people retire at 50. They draw from their pensions and get a part time job or another job and work while paying into Social Security until they are 65 then they are eligable to also get Social Security. What a rip off.

      Not all Seniors had access or the means for generous pensions, or 401K retirement plans, infact millions of Americans are not even offered Health Insurance through their work because the employer does not offer it. People who WORKED and contributed should receive Medicare. The senior perscription plan is necessary because perscription medication cost are so high that most seniors can not afford the high retail prices so they receive a discount and pay a co-pay. No one is getting something FREE.

    13. tnemptynester says:

      I surrpose that those who oppost Medicare for seniors don't care if seniors like their Grandmothers, Mothers, Fathers and Grandfathers have health care and want to push them over a cliff.

      Welfare reciepents don't have to do anything to get FREE hand outs. Millions of un-wed women have children that tax payers pay to have delivered and pre-natal care for the mother. The tax payers pay to feed, house, provide health care, free lunches and on and on.

    14. tnemptynester says:

      The federal government expects doctors to give discounts for their services to save money but the government doesn't care about all the waste and abuse of funds on programs that are not necessary.
      Waste on conferences, over pay for government employees, excessive spending for travel, lodging, meals, etc. of members of congress and the executive branch not to mention Obama's expensive taxie service on the Air Force 1 . What about all the entertainment at the White house and other events that government officials attend that we the tax payers pay for. (the cost of booze along is out of sight)

    15. tnemptynester says:

      Why are Americans paying for aid to foreign countries? Look at the waste of paying foreign governments to aid us in war. They hate us but they take the money anyway. Look at the cost of helping supply and training them for war. Why is American making investments in Brazil for oil, Finland for loans for manufactuing autos. I don't get.

    16. Waynie says:

      All entitlements need to be reformed. People need to be responsible for their own health and well-being, i.e. get the government out of our lives.

    17. Bill says:

      It is quite evident that people are the problem. Obesity is the number one issue that is causing older people to have so many illnesses. So, one suggestion is: If a person is overweight and needs medical attention under Medicare they must pay for a large part of the costs involved. This is the only way we can put responsibility back on to the person who is fat and does not seem to care. These people want the government to pay for all their health problems even tho most of the problems come from their overeating and eating processed junk food.

    18. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Medicare and medicaid have done NOTHING to stop the FRAUD. I gt a statement ffrom CMS saying a foot doctor had submitted a claim, Now I haven't seen this doctor in about 6yrs or more, besides at the date of service I was in another town. It took numerous calls to bothe CMS and BC/BS to finally after 5 mos get someone to call this doctors office, still no investigation, just got hem to reverse the charge. With this I wondered how many doctors( or their office workers) submitted bills and were paid for NON-SERVICE, they just pay the claims. No wonder Medicare is going broke. My Nuerologists wife was doing this and got caught, happens more than we know. Maybe we need to sign on a statement when we go to the doctors?? just a thought.

    19. hasz says:

      Please tell me, what about 2100?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.