Politico: Will Republicans abandon Medicare reform?

Republicans may be ready for "quiet surrender" on entitlement reform after the tax bill shortened the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by three years, putting the program in "the worst shape since the recession," Politico reports.

The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is now set to run dry by 2026, according to the annual Medicare trustees' report published in early June. The trustees credited the setback to reduced income stemming from lower payroll tax revenue and reduced taxes on Social Security benefits. The report also notes the tax bill's repeal of the individual mandate penalty will increase the number of uninsured, thereby increasing Medicare uncompensated care payments.

The results of this report, coupled with the impending retirement of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. — who has been the lead proponent in Congress for overhauling Medicare — and President Donald Trump's opposition to reform, have together fractured the Republican front on the matter, according to Politico.  

Republicans appear to be taking a break on Medicare overhaul as the midterm elections approach; however, leaders of the party told Politico they haven't abandoned the idea and simply need more time. Read the full story here.


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