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Medicare and Social Security Spring Trustees Press Conference

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
July 22, 2015
Washington, DC

For 50 years, Medicare has granted dignity and security to millions of older Americans.


Thank you, Secretary Lew.

Next week we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of Medicare. We’ll celebrate that Medicare has kept older Americans healthy for half a century, that it is constantly improving, and that it is helping us lead the way in building the health care system of tomorrow.

And today, with the 50th Medicare Trustees’ report, we affirm our commitment as responsible stewards of this program.

I’d like to highlight a few items from the report.

First, we project the Medicare Trust Fund will be funded through 2030. This is the same timeline we projected last year, and 13 years longer than we projected before the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Second, we project that over the next 10 years, Medicare spending per enrollee will continue to grow slowly relative to historical rates; specifically, at one-tenth of a percentage point higher than GDP.

To build on this progress, Medicare is moving from paying for the quantity of services to the value of care. And efforts to reduce hospital readmissions and acquired conditions are saving lives, improving outcomes, and generating savings for taxpayers.

Finally, I want to address the report's projections for Part B premiums. Under the preliminary projections, seventy percent of enrollees in Part B would see no change in their premiums for 2016.

The final decision, including the impact for the remaining 30 percent, will be made in the coming months. That decision will be based on our preliminary projections today, subject to additional data, and the Administration’s consideration of policy options.

For all Medicare enrollees, we project per-enrollee Part B spending to increase on average under 5 percent per year over the next 10 years. 

For 50 years, Medicare has granted dignity and security to millions of older Americans. We need to continue our efforts to make the program stronger and better for the next 50 years and beyond.

Thank you, and with that I will turn it over to Secretary Perez.

Content created by Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS)
Content last reviewed on July 22, 2015