Health Care Fiscal Problem in a Nutshell

Via John Stoessel:

Medicare already faces a $30 Trillion deficit. The bigger issue is that Democrats are poised to make cuts in Medicare -- something that is incredibly difficult to do -- but instead of applying those cuts towards Medicare, they are applying it towards a lavish new entitlement program.

Of course, that assumed that the spending estimates for the new health care plan are meaningful, which is highly unlikely, since every single entitlement of this kind has always vastly outspent its initial estimates.   Greece, here we come.


  1. MaxedOutMama:

    The even bigger issue is that one of the prominent items in the reconciliation push is to expand Medicare's Part D by closing the doughnut hole for seniors. That program is (at this point) almost 80% funded by general revenues.

    Obviously the scoring on these bills means nothing, because many of the provisions could not be applied. But expanding Part D pretty much makes it blatantly obvious that the current administration does not care a flip about any of the stated purposes.

  2. Methinks:

    Basically, this bill is a single-payer by proxy. It is also a massive tax increase combined with a huge reduction in actual medical care.

    Do we want to pay more to get less? Can we afford another massive entitlement program on a scale that has never been tried before (no country has ever tried to cover 300+ million people before. The country that came closest was the Soviet Union).

    Call the Democrat representatives whether they're in your district or not - especially the ones whose seats are vulnerable. If people calling and protesting didn't make any difference, this thing would have been passed in September.

  3. Mesa Econoguy:

    Yes, we talked about this here.

    The parties involved, especially Peter Orszag, have gone to exceptional, dishonest lengths to conceal the true cost of this scheme. And to your point coyote, here is a survey of past health care reform cost estimate failures:

    Are Health Care Reform Cost Estimates Reliable [Senate Joint Economic Committee]

    It is absolutely remarkable that 1) this is still being pursued and 2) they're throwing the $1 trillion number out there with a straight face.

    Call your Reps.

  4. me:

    Interesting article about health care in France vs US care. I don't have first hand experience other than a sprained ankle in 7th grade (that was quickly taken care of), a time at which -for better or for worse- I didn't pay much attention to the cost aspect.

  5. what else though?:

    What else are we going to do though? My insurance for my wife and I has hit 20K a year with a $7500 deductible. We are self employed, do people now have to go to work for a corporation whether they want to or not just to survive? The current system is unsustainable anyway, in 20 years it will be 1/3 of GDP. Clearly undoable. I have yet to see any better ideas.

  6. ilovebenefits:

    The is a real ideological split. See my post here:

    It is the relationship of how much as a nation is affordable on the speed at which we try to solve the numerous issues at hand.

  7. Mesa Econoguy:

    What else though? You’re joking, right?

    Adding new layers of bureaucracy (and likely single-payer behemoth administration) will not solve this problem – it will make it far worse. And capping the total GDP cost of healthcare will reduce access and quality.

    If you think this proposal is the best one out there, you’ve got much bigger problems than not being able to afford health insurance….

  8. me:

    @Mesa Econoguy, what else though? [=:WET]

    Not a very friendly tone Mesa is taking there, but it cuts to the point. Yes, healthcare in the states is terribly broken and a system that delivers suboptimal results. Yes, it needs to be fixed.

    WET: None of the current proposals would actually fix it, they are just costly patches that have a good chance of making a bad system worse.

    It's a great example of the typical political stratagem that ignore problems until the house is truly and well on fire to impose a knee-jerk fix that won't actually help. (Note that this cuts across party lines - the Republicans could have prevented any of the current healthcare shenanigans by trying their own solution to the problem)

  9. Jeff:

    what else though?: $20k/year with a $7500 deductible?!? Do you have hemophilia?

    If you don't have a chronic, costly medical condition, you should shop around, we pay around $7k/year with a $6k individual deductible/$9k family deductible for a family of four....

  10. IgotBupkis:

    > My insurance for my wife and I has hit 20K a year with a $7500 deductible

    Geez, what the hell planet do you live on?

    I just ran a check into ehealthinsurance. For a quick check, I id'd as "60 and single". It quoted me $230/month for 10k deductible, and 314/mo for 5k deductible.

    That's less than $3k for 10k ded, and less than $4k for 5k ded. I backed up and added a wife 5 years younger, and for us both it quoted me $312/mo for 10k, and $430/mo for 5k, or a bit over 5 grand for 5k ded.

    For him and her @ 30yo and 25yo, the price is $1500/yr (10k ded) and 2000/yr (5k ded).

    As Jeff says, you need to either shop around, or stop claiming those absurd numbers without admitting you've got some ridiculously expensive health problem, as though you were an "average" person.... or move, if it's somehow an insane location problem.... Or are you just lying through your teeth, perhaps, assuming no one will call you on it??