Thursday, December 10, 2009


A deficit time-bomb waiting to happen

Medicare is already paying out more than it receives, and a Medicare Trustees Report released in May said the program'll be insolvent by 2017. Other studies indicate that Medicare will be flat-broke a lot sooner.

Majority Leader Harry Reid and his merry band of dim-witted Senate Democrats have proposed adding another 20+ million folks to Medicare (by giving the unisured the option of "buying into" the program) while simultaneously cutting billions of dollars from its budget.

One needn't hold a PhD in mathematics to know what kind of deficit-time bomb will be created if and when Reid's Super Medicare becomes law.

Charles Krauthammer had an excellent take on the subject on last night's Fox News All-Stars:

Doctors today are already complaining because payments from Medicare are extremely low. Many doctors opt out because it is so low. You have to see so many elderly patients in order to make … a decent living, and it is almost impossible to do good medicine.

On top of this, you are now going to add 20 million, 30 million people in Medicare at a time when the other part of the bill is calling for a cut of half a trillion in the payments into Medicare.

So how do you make that work? The numbers are absolutely contradictory.

So it's going to threaten the livelihood of doctors and hospitals [and] secondly, it threatens the livelihood, the solvency of Medicare itself. Already the actuaries say that in half a decade it goes over a cliff and becomes insolvent. You're going to add now 30 million people potentially into an insolvent system and think it will be stronger? It seems to me like an act of desperation.

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