Immigrants for years have paid far more into Medicare’s coffers than they have drawn out, effectively subsidizing rising health care payments to the aging U.S. population, according to an analysis from Harvard Medical School released on May 29. From 2002 through 2009, immigrants posted a Medicare surplus of $115 billion, while the American-born population logged a deficit of $28 billion in contributions. The Harvard researchers said their analysis offers a look at the potential impact changes to U.S. immigration policies could have on health care funding. “Policies that reduce immigration would almost certainly weaken Medicare’s financial health, while an increasing flow of immigrants might bolster its sustainability,” they wrote.
Immigrants Subsidize Medicare Costs