Medicare is a guarantee made by the federal government to citizens to provide health care and prescription drug benefits to America's seniors and certain chronically ill citizens. Workers pay into the system throughout their lives in regular payroll deductions and receive benefits upon reaching age 65 or meeting other specific criteria based on health. You can read more about Medicare and its programs here.
Recently, Medicare has made the news both because of its tremendous cost and growth during these tough financial times and as part of a discussion of the best economic path forward for our country. There is no doubt that America must take seriously how to pay for quality health and drug benefits for seniors. With health care costs rising at a rate of inflation greater than that of the U.S. economy, it is not surprising that experts predict Medicare could face insolvency in the next ten years. Congress must work in a bipartisan way to rein in out of control health care cost increases to ensure the future viability of Medicare.