On New Year’s Day, 2011, the first baby boomers celebrated their 65th birthdays.
Baby boomers are the 77 million Americans born between the years, 1946 and 1964. Since that first day of 2011, baby boomers have been turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day, and that daily rate will continue until the year 2030.
What’s that got to do with Medicare premiums in the year 2017? The difference between the benefits promised and the taxes actually being paid into Medicare is already underfunded by at least $23 trillion, and if that trend continues, Medicare could go bankrupt as early as 2017.
According to David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative, “The retirement of the baby boom generation will bring a tsunami of spending that will cause a severe problem for the federal government’s budget.”
The number of people eligible for Medicare will nearly double from 46 million to 80 million by the time all the boomers reach the age of 65.
It’s estimated the cost of Medicare, will grow from $500 billion a year, from the present year of 2015, to $929 billion over the next five years; and conversely, as the number of Medicare recipients increases, the number of workers supporting each recipient will decrease.
As stated by David Walker, “Ultimately we’re going to have to make tough choices about how much health care we can afford and sustain, and how we are going to change our payment systems to make sure that it doesn’t bankrupt the country.”
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