How much money per participant must be immediately added to Medicare to cover the estimated lifetime shortfall for all current taxpayers and beneficiaries in the program?
According to Medicare's actuaries, the program has an estimated lifetime shortfall of $34.6 trillion for all current taxpayers and beneficiaries. This equals $133,383 per participant and approximates the method by which publicly traded companies are required by law to report the finances of their pension and retirement plans. In the end, these figures may be much higher because they are based on current law, and Medicare's Trustees have written that the program's future costs "could be substantially understated" due to "potentially unsustainable elements of current law." This is because current law requires future cuts in Medicare's doctor payment rates that could drive them "increasingly below" doctors' costs of providing care. Furthermore, Obamacare cuts future Medicare payment rates for other healthcare services to "less than half of their level under the prior law."