“Medicare is not even close to sustainable in its present form, much less to be leveraged to cover the entire population.”
Saturday, October 5, 2019
“Because of the wealth transfer to early enrollees, as well as from ensuing expansions, Medicare provided many with a great deal. But that deal was the result of dumping an enormous bill on future generations (bigger than the unfunded liabilities for Social Security plus the national debt).
As a result, Medicare was a far worse deal than M4A salesmen and women admit, and it is now decaying at an increasing rate.
With that bill starting to arrive, Medicare is not even close to sustainable in its present form, much less to be leveraged to cover the entire population (although one can understand the vote-buying potential in promising massive new M4A generational transfers).”
Moreover, I will point out that higher taxes most likely will simply trigger and enable additional spending. And I will warn that tax increases will undermine economic performance.
Regarding that last point, three professors, led by Alberto Alesina at Harvard, have unveiled some new research looking at the economic impact of expenditure-based austerity compared to tax-based austerity.
That may be because enthusiasm for single payer tends to die down pretty quickly once people get a sense of what sort of tax increases would be necessary to fund it. An Urban Institute analysis of a previous version of Sanders’ plan estimated that it would cost $32 trillion over a decade.
It promises huge overall savings along with coverage that would be far more expansive, and far more expensive, than Medicaid for all, with no clear way to pay for it, and no specific strategy for driving costs or spending down.
In 30 years of political advocacy, Sanders has not solved any of the fundamental problems with single payer. He has merely opted to pretend they do not exist.”
[Note: On annualized basis, that would more than double the amount we currently spend annually on healthcare. And past projections related to the costs of gov’t programs always vastly underestimate the actual costs, as evidenced below. – The Sovereign Patient]
“The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.” http://reason.com/archives/1993/01/01/the-medicare-monster
I was sitting directly under a television in a Caribbean airport yesterday when Trump got inaugurated, so I inadvertently heard his speech.
The bad news is that Trump didn’t say much about liberty or the Constitution. And, unlike Reagan, he certainly didn’t have much to say about shrinking the size and scope of Washington.
On the other hand, he excoriated Washington insiders for lining their pockets at the expense of the overall nation. And if he’s serious about curtailing sleaze in DC, the only solution is smaller government.
But is that what Trump really believes? Does he intend to move policy in the right direction?
Well, as I’ve already confessed, I don’t know what to expect. The biggest wild card, at least for fiscal policy, is whether he’ll be serious about the problem of government spending. Especially entitlements.
Yet these people simultaneously claim that higher tax rates on income (especially on the evil rich!) won’t lead to less work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.
Back in August, I acknowledged that lifestyle leftists in California won a real victory. They imposed a tax on sugary soft drinks in Berkeley and achieved a reduction in consumption. But I pointed …