Obligatory Reading on Medicare
Have you read this article by Yuval Levin yet? If not, you should. It clearly lays out the case as to why Medicare will be the driver of the national debt and why it is in need of reform. Here’s an excerpt:
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare spending as a share of the economy is five times what it was in 1970, while all other federal spending combined (excluding interest) is 1.1 times what it was. By 2035, CBO expects Medicare costs to be nearly twice what they are today as a share of the economy, while all other federal spending combined will actually decline somewhat as a share of the economy. The debt problem is a Medicare problem. There is no way to avert fiscal disaster without significantly reining in the growth of that program. Even President Obama has acknowledged that no other solution, and certainly not his symbolic class-warfare tax proposals, could be sufficient, saying last July that “if you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up.”
And yet, even though he acknowledges this fact, the president has chosen to do nothing, and indeed to stand firmly in the way of doing anything meaningful to solve the problem. Obamacare’s Medicare cuts and its board of price controllers aren’t a solution — the CBO debt and Medicare growth numbers cited above already include them, and the agency (along with Medicare’s actuary, who works for the president) has said they are very unlikely to work. What is needed is a structural reform of the program, to enable it to deliver coverage to seniors far more efficiently by driving more efficient delivery of care.
What are you waiting for? Go read the rest here.