But at the same time the general attention of a nation is focused first on the problem "how to get rich", then on the problem of terrorism. All these factors have kept the problem of health care off the top of the day. Today there are several popular health insurance programs. Let's look through them briefly.
Medicare is the name of a health insurance program which is administered by the government of USA. It covers people who are 65 and older, or people of some other specific criteria. It was added into law signed on 30th of July in1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was the amendments of Social Security legislation. At the ceremony of bill-signing President Johnson registered former President of USA Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary. Then Johnson presented him with the first Medicare card. And that was the beginning.
Medicare is financed partially by payroll taxes which are imposed by FICA (The Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and the Self-Employment Contributions Act. Concerning to employees, the payroll tax is equal to 2.9% (1.45% withheld from the worker and a matching 1.45% paid by the employer) of the salaries, wages and other compensations connected with employment. Until the 31st of December, 1993, the law gives a maximal amount of wages, salaries etc., on which the Medicare payments could be imposed each year. In the beginning on the 1st of January in 1994, they removed the compensation limit. Concerning to self-employed individuals, the payroll tax is 2.9% of net earnings from self-employment, and the all amount is paid by the self-employed individuals.
Medicare is facing continuing financial issues. In annual report to Congress in 2006, the Medicare Board of Trustees reported that the hospital insurance trust fund of the program could run out of money by 2018. Such projections trustees have made in the past, but this time that was colder than the perspectives reported even one year ago.
The main problem is that the ratio of workers paying taxes for Medicare to retirees drawing advantages is shrinking and at the same time the payment of services of health care per person is increasing. Today there are 3.9 workers paying taxes into Medicare program for every older American receiving their services. Under forecasts by 2030, as the baby boom generation retires, that figure will drop to 2.4 workers for every beneficiary. They expect Medicare spending to grow by about 7 % per year for the next ten years.
Some part of the cost of Medicare is a deceit, which auditor of government estimates to cost Medicare billions of dollars per year. The Government Accountability Office lists Medicare as a "high-risk" program of government in need for reformation partly because of its vulnerability to deceit and partly because of its long-term financial problems.
Popular opinion reviews show that people convinced that Medicare's problems is serious, but not so immediate as other concerns. In January 2006, the Pew Research Center found that 62 % of the people said that government must give to Medicare's financial problems a highest priority, but the government still put this problem behind other priorities. Reviews suggest that there is no consensus between people behind any specific strategy to solve this program.
A study by the Government Acco