Archive for August 2011
By: Rebecca Cerio
As the debt ceiling debate consumes the news, Medicare and Medicaid consume more and more political talk time. The Baby Boomer generation is rapidly aging and beginning to draw on Social Security and Medicare. Added costs of this growing beneficiary population will be compounded by the rising costs of health care itself, which has outpaced inflation for the past thirty years. By 2025, the Government Accountability Office has predicted that interest on the national debt and our three biggest entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) will consume ALL federal revenues (1), leaving the US with no choice but to go deeply into debt to provide even the most basic services.
All agree that such a situation is untenable. Nearly everyone, regardless of political persuasion, can agree that ‘something’ needs to be done about health care. However, what that ‘something’ is is still under fierce debate. To ensure the health of our poor and elderly, services have to be provided. Providers have to be paid. Where should the money come from?