America’s love affair with Medicare
“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