How much money per person must be 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 would require an immediate injection of $42.3 trillion to cover the estimated lifetime shortfall for all current taxpayers and beneficiaries in the program. This equals $161,344 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. These figures may ultimately 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. Also, Obamacare cuts future Medicare payment rates for other healthcare services to "less than half of their level under the prior law." Such cuts have already led to rural hospital closures.