Sens. Crapo, Brady request status of Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund

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U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) recently forwarded correspondence to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen requesting a revised Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund insolvency projection.

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The senators stated that assessing the nature of the HI trust fund’s current financial status is time-sensitive, anticipating Congress considers additional changes to the Medicare program this year.

“We simply cannot wait anywhere from two to four months for the next Medicare trustees report to be made public,” Crapo and Brady wrote. “Either through reconciliation or regular order, there is every expectation that Congress will consider additional healthcare-related legislation this year. Before Congress debates any further legislation that impacts the Medicare program, it is imperative that policymakers have accurate information explaining when the HI trust fund will be insolvent.”

The legislators acknowledged that, while committees have received a communication from Treasury officials recognizing this year’s reports will be delayed for some indefinite period, no indication policy has been developed or followed.

“Before Congress debates any further legislation that impacts the Medicare program, it is imperative that policymakers have accurate information explaining when the HI trust fund will be insolvent,” the lawmakers concluded. “If we receive an amended insolvency date projection as late as three months from now, well after Congress and the Administration have already enacted further legislative changes, then we may ultimately fail to take the immediate actions necessary to strengthen the Medicare program.”

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