As the far-reaching impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) continues to break economic and job growth records, it’s also breathed new life into Medicare solvency. Following projections indicating the Medicare Health Insurance (HI) trust fund would be depleted by 2025, the TCJA, of which Peter Roskam was a chief architect, strengthened its funding sources and extended Medicare solvency. In contrast, Sean Casten proposes repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and removing the cap on Social Security taxes, claiming that recipients need to “pay their fair share to support” Social Security and Medicare.

Medicare is undoubtedly a benefactor of the booming economy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, with the soaring wage and job growth spurred by the TCJA, they recently projected an additional $300 billion in payroll tax collections for 2018 to 2027 to fund the ailing Medicare program.

Outside of payroll, the current 49-year low unemployment rate continues to work in Medicare’s favor. In this job-seeker’s economy, workers with disabilities are finding employment more easily, which results in fewer Americans requiring disability insurance and Medicare—further improving Medicare solvency.

Roskam has worked to find solutions to address inefficiencies and instances of fraud in the Medicare program to ensure solvency for future recipients. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) admitted that 10 percent of all Medicare payments are fraudulent—totaling over $40 billion lost to Medicare fraud each year. Roskam helped pass bipartisan legislation to transition Medicare into the same type of predictive system that credit card companies use (who boast a mere 0.6% fraud rate)—in order to end Medicare’s “pay-and-chase method” and identify fraudulent Medicare payments before the money is out the door.

Sean Casten’s proposal to remove the cap on payroll taxes would negatively impact seniors across the district, adding to their financial burden. Under current law, the payroll tax cap stops at $128,000 in yearly income. Casten would charge an extra $600 for every $10,000 over that limit for individuals; and for entrepreneurs, he would charge an extra $1,200 for every $10,000 over that cap.

“Instead of proposing real solutions that will fix our Medicare system, Sean Casten takes his usual approach and proposes a new tax for Sixth District residents, including seniors,” said Roskam for Congress Spokesman Veronica Vera. “Casten, a multimillionaire, then shockingly refers to residents earning a $128,000 annual income as ‘ultra wealthy.’ Ask a family of six with a $128,000 household income and they’d strongly disagree. Peter Roskam helped author the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which has improved Medicare solvency and has proposed several solutions to fix Medicare’s inefficiencies and fraud rate. Casten’s plans to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would damage an already fragile Medicare System and raise taxes on Sixth District residents.”

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