Immigrants Contributed More To The Medicare Trust Fund Than They Took Out In 2002-09

From Health Affairs:

In 2009 immigrants in the United States accounted for a net surplus of $13.8 billion paid into the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, while native-born Americans were responsible for depleting the fund of $30.9 billion. This finding from a study being released today as a Web First by Health Affairs, suggests that immigrants heavily subsidize Medicare. This study is the first to quantify immigrants’ share of contributions to this fund.

The authors tabulated contributions from the Current Population Survey, data generated by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, and expenditures from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They then calculated net contributions (contributions minus expenditures) for immigrants, noncitizen immigrants, and native-born Americans for each year between 2002 and 2009.

The study found that immigrants generated surpluses of $11.1-17.2 billion per year between 2002 and 2009, resulting in a cumulative surplus of $115.2 billion to the fund that primarily pays hospitals and institutions under Medicare Part A. In 2009 the final year examined in this study, 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 to Medicare, the majority of which was attributable to noncitizen immigrants.

Read the complete story here.

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