How Much Will Medicare Costs Affect Taxpayers Over Time? (Brief 2 of 4)
A major justification for reforms to reduce Medicare benefits surrounds the claim that the program will be unaffordable in the future and will overburden taxpayers. But many such arguments aren’t based on facts or more than minimal amounts of analysis of these claims. This brief takes a comprehensive look at the likely levels of burden that Medicare will impose on taxpayers in relation to their projected ability to afford them.
The authors conclude that burdens on young taxpayers will rise over time as the population ages and more people become eligible for Medicare and as costs of health care continue to rise. However, that increased burden has only modest impacts; it will be up to society to decide whether to ask taxpayers to pay more over time. If not, burdens on beneficiaries would rise even faster—or they will get less health care over time.