Immigrants Contributed An Estimated $115.2 Billion More To The Medicare Trust Fund Than They Took Out In 2002–09 – that’s the headline from a piece in Health Affairs this month.
“immigrants may be disproportionately subsidizing the Medicare Trust Fund, which supports payments to hospitals and institutions…In 2009 immigrants made 14.7 percent of Trust Fund contributions but accounted for only 7.9 percent of its expenditures—a net surplus of $13.8 billion. In contrast, US-born people generated a $30.9 billion deficit…
Most of the surplus from immigrants was contributed by noncitizens [emphasis added] and was a result of the high proportion of working-age taxpayers in this group. Policies that restrict immigration may deplete Medicare’s financial resources.”
When one considers that birth rates among citizens are declining, and thus there will be fewer young working folks to support us aged people, the current anti-immigrant/nativist stance starts to look a little problematic.
Fact is, Medicare and Social Security depend on contributions from working age people; if we drastically restrict immigration and deport all undocumented aliens those two programs will be in dire financial straits much sooner than anticipated.
Conversely, a more “open” policy would go a long way toward reducing the strain on Medicare and SS.