It's a pretty fair statement that without Social Security or Medicare our nation's seniors would be in a world of trouble.
According to the December fact sheet from the Social Security Administration, 48% of elderly married couples and 71% of elderly individuals relied on Social Security income to make up at least 50% of their monthly income. Suffice it to say, without the safety of this income, a majority of seniors would struggle to make ends meet.
Likewise, the importance of Medicare is growing for our aging population. Medical cost inflation has handily outpaced the national rate of inflation in all but one year over the past decade, led primarily by surging brand-name prescription drug costs. Without Medicare to cover approximately 80% of the costs for seniors ages 65 and up, many could be buried under the weight of cripplingly high procedure and drug prices.
Social Security and Medicare are on a perilous path
Yet both critically important programs are headed down the wrong path. Due to factors unforeseen when Social Security and Medicare were created, strains are being placed on both programs that have them on track to burn through their spare cash in less than two decades.