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Medicare (the portion that provides hospital coverage for seniors and people with disabilities) is expected to remain financially solvent through 2030; five years longer than previously expected, according to the Congressional Budget Office (OMB).  However, OMB predicts that Medicare’s spending shortfalls will be delayed, not eliminated without some changes.  Republicans have proposed an overhaul of Medicare that would let older Americans purchase government vouchers instead of being covered by Medicare.  Democrats want to preserve Medicare’s basic structure with small changes.

Medicare is one of the governments largest programs, expected to spend more than $500 billion on benefits for 54 million Americans this year.  Close to 70 million people are expected to quality for benefits in 2030, with the program’s costs continuing to rise as America’s elderly population grows.  The Medicare trust fund is financed through payroll taxes and premiums paid by beneficiaries.

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