This bill will strengthen Medicare and extend the life of the program.
President Barack Obama,
after the Senate health care bill secured 60 votes
Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the Federal Budget and the Balance in the Hospital Insurance [HI] Trust Fund
The improvement in Medicare’s finances would not be matched by a corresponding improvement in the federal government’s overall finances.
…the [Hospital Insurance] trust fund would be recording additional saving of more than $300 billion during the next 10 years, but the government as a whole would be doing much less additional saving.
…The reductions in projected Part A outlays and increases in projected HI revenues would significantly raise balances in the HI trust fund and create the appearance that significant additional resources had been set aside to pay for future Medicare benefits. However, the additional savings by the government as a whole—which represent the true increase in the ability to pay for future Medicare benefits or other programs—would be a good deal smaller.
Trust fund accounting…ignores the burden that would be faced by the rest of the government later…Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending.
To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.
Congressional Budget Office, December 23, 2009