Washington -- Medicare's hospital trust fund could be out of money in less than a decade, and outpatient spending threatens to consume an even larger portion of the gross domestic product, according to those overseeing the program's finances.
Both the physician and hospital portions of the Medicare program are in trouble, according to the 2009 Medicare trustees report, released May 12. The insolvency date for Part A has been moved up two years to 2017. Part B does not face insolvency because it is automatically funded by a combination of general tax revenues and beneficiary premiums. However, it does face rapid growth that will continue to expand faster than the economy as a whole, the report warns.