As the 2020 election approaches, many people wonder how it could affect the future of the country. More specifically, many older adults wonder how it could affect programs they rely on, such as Medicare and Social Security. The proposed payroll tax cut already poses a risk to Medicare and Social Security funding, while the growing federal deficit may force lawmakers in Washington D.C. to make changes to popular federal programs.

So, how will the 2020 election affect Medicare going forward? It’s difficult to say with complete certainty, but there are a few possible scenarios that could play out. Let’s take a closer look at what the November elections could mean for Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries.

Who are the Contenders?

As it currently stands, voters have two primary choices: Joe Biden (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). The two have very different views on the priorities of the country, as do their respective parties. Even as Coronavirus continues to ravage the nation and the world, Congress struggles to come to a solution that will please both sides.

What Will the Democrats Do to Medicare?

As a general rule, Democrats favor increased federal and state spending on programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. They often oppose tax cuts that threaten funding for these federal programs. So, if Joe Biden wins the 2020 election, there will likely be few (if any) negative consequences for Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, Joe Biden’s campaign has expressed interest in expanding Medicare, which could include changes like:

  • Lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 60
  • Allow government negotiations over prescription drug pricing
  • Increased funding for Medicare and Medicaid

However, the deficit (and Republican opposition in Congress) could prevent some or all of these lofty goals from passing into law. Moreover, the looming deficit has many Democrats worried about the government’s ability to pay for Medicare, which is moving toward insolvency.

What Will the Republicans Do to Medicare?

The Republican solution for Medicare is harder to predict. A large percentage of Republican voters are older adults who rely on Medicare or Medicaid. As a result, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress won’t want to upset a large part of their base by defunding the program. However, the Republicans continue to make the ballooning national deficit a primary issue.

At the same time, Donald Trump is keen to implement a payroll tax cut to temporarily help workers affected by Coronavirus. However, the payroll tax is the main way that the government pays for Medicare. Even a short suspension of the tax could reduce Medicare benefits or force Congress to make cuts to the federal program.

Bottom Line

The 2020 election could be the most important presidential election of the 21st century (so far). Both sides have drastically different views on how to deal with issues ranging from climate change to Coronavirus. As a result, it remains to be seen how the 2020 election will affect the future of Medicare.

If you’d like to learn more about the payroll tax cuts and your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.