Friday, July 22, 2011

More Wonkiness on Health Care

Vice someone called Austin Frakt, here's the CBO projection for expenditures vs. revenues through 2080;Ezra Klein adds that for this to play out three things need to happen:
1) All the Bush tax cuts expire, as they’re currently scheduled to do;
2) The Medicare doc fix is either implemented or its repeal is paid for over the next 70 years, and;
3) the Affordable Care Act is implemented, and all of its spending targets are met and all of its taxes are collected.

That's all very well and good (and might as well come with magical ponies, if you think that the frigging Bush tax giveaways will EVER be allowed to expire...) but the thing that seems to escape both the pundits is on the y-axis. The assumption that tax collections will rise to 30% of the GDP.

That's wartime levels, and that's ridiculous. No public would tolerate that for very long. If that's what needs to happen to "bring deficits under control" we might as well give up right now.

But you'll notice the other thing; the "growth" of SS and "other non-interest" spending are either minimal or actually declining. The massive, massive increase is in the health care programs, and that is nearly entirely due to front-end medical costs.

So the real question is - how do we manage that?

And there are answers out there...but nearly all of them start with some variation of "socialized medicine" and, as such, are utterly off the table until the last of the 27-percenters goes into the cattle cars for transport to the secret black helicopter extermination camps for conservatives in the Utah desert.

Real medical cost control just isn't possible under the present political system.

Game over.


  1. Interesting that you did not write "under the present democracy".

    The prime reason for instituting a government, to foster, protect, etc the people does not seem to be here beyond the day-to-day traffic and local/state laws.

    What are we?

    I may ask.


  2. Good post. I think the CBO director says it well here and here too.