All Americans deserve access to sound and comprehensive health care, including vaccinations, preventive care, dental, mental health, and childcare to enhance their opportunity to live a full life with needed medical services at a reasonable and affordable cost throughout their life stages. These benefits are provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act plans.

Medicare is now a key and very successful component of the American social and healthcare system and safety net. As of 2021, it covered 65.1 million people, 85 percent of them elderly. Medicare is partially self-financed by current beneficiaries through premiums and by future beneficiaries through payroll taxes. Payroll taxes and premiums together cover about half of the program’s cost. Funding for Medicare, depending on which part, comes from various sources.

Medicare enrollment in Collier County was 109,305 (28% of the population) in 2021. Medicare enrollment in Florida, as of September 2022, stood at 4,898,260, that’s nearly 22% of the state’s total population, compared with about 19% of the United States population enrolled in Medicare.

    Republicans favor sunsetting of these popular social programs, including ending the requirement for private and public health insurance programs to provide coverage for pre-existing health conditions. They reason that the cost of healthcare, as well as the achievement of retirement benefits, are the responsibility of each individual and are costs that:1) cannot be controlled by the government, 2) should not be borne by the rest of society through additional special taxes and 3) should not be the ultimate responsibility of government purses and taxpayers as they produce a huge public burden.

The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund which pays for Medicare beneficiaries’ hospital bills and other services, is projected to become insolvent in 2028. Medicare spending is a major driver of long-term federal spending and is projected to rise from 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in fiscal year 2021 to about 6 percent in fiscal year 2052 due to the retirement of the baby-boom generation (those born between 1944 and 1964), longer life expectancies, and rapidly increasing per capita healthcare costs that are growing faster than the economy.

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Entitlements Threatened

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