The following column by Dean Baker was posted on the Hill website July 19, 2017:
Social Security and Medicare are the country’s two largest and most important social programs, which is why the release of the annual trustees’ reports usually get considerable attention. These are effectively report cards on the financial health of these two programs.
The release of these reports last week actually got relatively little attention, in part because of competition from other big news items, and in part because there was little change from the reports issued last year. However, at least in the case of the Medicare trustees report, the fact that there were no major changes should have been big news.
The reason that a 2017 Medicare trustees report showing pretty much the same financial picture as the 2016 Medicare trustees report (the projected shortfall is actually slightly lower in this year’s report) is newsworthy is that it’s a different group of trustees. (more…)