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Just a couple of hours after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed that Medicare is “on the table” in deficit talks, her office chose to walk back those comments and take efforts to save and preserve Medicare “off the table.

We’re assuming that means Leader Pelosi is back to her original plan, which will lead Medicare on an unsustainable path toward bankruptcy…

According To A Recently Released Report, Medicare’s Trust Fund Will Go Bankrupt In 2024, Five Years Earlier Than Forecast Last Year. “Medicare’s trust fund will run dry in 2024, five years earlier than forecast just last year, and Social Security’s will be exhaused by 2036, adding fuel to the debate over cutting one or both programs to reduce annual budget deficits. (Richard Wolf, “Medicare, Social Security Money Running Out Faster,” USA Today, 5/13/2011)

  • The 2024 Bankruptcy Projection Is “Suspect” And May Be Too Optimistic. “The Medicare figures are suspect, because they rely on billions of dollars in savings projected under the health care law signed by President Obama last year. Those savings depend on many factors, such as cuts in payments to doctors that Congress habitually sidesteps, as well as improvements in doctors’ and hospitals’ productivity.” (Richard Wolf, “Medicare, Social Security Money Running Out Faster,” USA Today, 5/13/2011)

According To The American Academy Of Actuaries, Eliminating Medicare’s Deficit Would Require “An Immediate 23 Percent Increase In Payroll Taxes Or An Immediate 15 Percent Reduction In Benefits.” “The projected HI deficit over the next 75 years is 0.66 percent of taxable payroll, down from last year’s estimate of 3.88 percent. Eliminating this deficit would require an immediate 23 percent increase in payroll taxes or an immediate 15 percent reduction in benefits—or some combination of the two.” (“Issue Brief: Medicare’s Financial Condition: Beyond Actuarial Balance,” The American Academy Of Actuaries, 11/10)