Brief The Medicare Financing Conundrum
Revenues, Spending, and Short- and Long-Term Fiscal Challenges
C. Eugene Steuerle, Bowen Garrett
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In this brief, we examine the sources of financial pressure on the Medicare program overall and the contributions of Medicare's Parts to that pressure. We then describe the complex array of Medicare financing sources, including their sizes and scopes in relation to gross domestic product, federal spending, and revenue. Because Medicare spending has historically grown faster than national income and is projected to continue doing so, the nation faces increasingly difficult choices between obtaining additional sources of financing that take money away from other public and private uses and reducing Medicare spending. We describe key takeaways that emerge from our review of Medicare’s financing challenges.

Research Areas Health and health care Taxes and budgets
Tags Medicare Federal budget and economy
Policy Centers Health Policy Center Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center