How much money per person must be immediately added to the Medicare program in order to cover the projected average shortfall for all current participants in the program (both taxpayers and beneficiaries)?
According to the intermediate estimates of Medicare's actuaries, the program has a $32.9 trillion closed-group shortfall. This amounts to $128,000 per person for all current Medicare taxpayers and beneficiaries. This measure approximates the method by which publicly traded companies are required by law to report the finances of their pension and retirement plans. However, this measure is based on current federal law, and Medicare's Trustees have written that the program's costs "could be substantially understated" due to "potentially unsustainable elements of current law." This is because Medicare's payments to healthcare providers are "not expected to keep up with underlying physician costs, resulting in a large and growing problem over the long range."