New Study: Don’t Make Major Changes to Medicare Based on Long-Term Forecasts

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<p>Predictions about Medicare’s fiscal future, many based on long-term forecasting, are often pessimistic—sometimes to the extreme. But what if these forecasts are off the mark?</p>
<p>In the next installment of our <em>Medicare at 50 Years</em> series, Sherry Glied and Abigail Zaylor argue that while the aging of the population and rising health care costs are expected to expand the share of the economy devoted to Medicare, changes over the past decade—including those made by the Medicare Modernization Act and the Affordable Care Act—have helped stabilize the program’s financial outlook even as benefits have been expanded.</p>
<p>Given the inherent uncertainty of projecting Medicare’s finances over the long term, it may be unwise, the authors say, to pursue desperate measures to avoid fiscal calamity that may well never materialize. Policymakers should instead focus on Medicare’s immediate needs by maintaining the program’s fiscal solvency while improving its ability to meet the needs of beneficiaries.</p> Read more