Amer­ica’s love af­fair with Medi­care

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“Amer­i­cans don’t par­tic­u­larly like government, but they do want government to sub­si­dize their health­care. They be­lieve that health­care spend­ing im­proves their lives more than any other pub­lic good … Amer­i­cans op­posed any cuts to Medi­care by a mar­gin of 70% to 25%. In a democ­racy, vot­ers get what they want, so the line trac­ing fed­eral health­care spend­ing looks like the slope of a jet tak­ing off. Medi­care spend­ing is set to nearly dou­ble over the next decade.

“This is the cru­cial el­e­ment driv­ing all fed­eral spend­ing over the next few decades and push­ing U.S. fed­eral debt to about 250% of GDP in 30 years. … health­care spend­ing, which peo­ple really ap­pre­ci­ate, is squeez­ing out all other spend­ing, which they value far less. Spend­ing on domestic pro­grams—for ed­u­ca­tion, sci­ence, in­fra­struc­ture and poverty re­lief—al­ready has faced the squeeze, and will take a huge hit in the years ahead.”

—David Brooks in the New York Times

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