So we have increasingly demanded that government pay for a great deal of our medical care — but we have not correspondingly faced the tax costs that involves.
Medicare and Medicaid are familiar government health care programs, and millions of us fortunately have individual or workplace-based medical insurance.
None of that is free, however, and recent news about the cost of government-run Medicare is not comforting. Medicare’s trustees report that at the rate we are going, Medicare will run out of money and be bankrupt by 2024.
That’s five years sooner than the bankruptcy date predicted for the expensive program just one year ago!
But that’s not the worst of it. Even the prediction that Medicare’s finances will hold out until 2024 is wildly unrealistic.
That date is based on claims that ObamaCare socialized medicine, enacted last year by Democrats in Congress, will somehow save many billions of tax dollars. It won’t. ObamaCare’s supposed “savings” are based in large part on massive cuts in payments to doctors — cuts that Congress has declined, year after year, to enact. Analysts also point to highly unlikely “savings” elsewhere that supposedly will shore up Medicare until 2024. But even the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office points out that such cuts will be “difficult to sustain.”
So in all likelihood, Medicare will go broke years before 2024.
And yet, politicians who like to assure us they will “give” us something good don’t like to look ahead. After all, this is 2011. Many current lawmakers will be out of office when Medicare goes broke.
But whether or not we face the high cost of health care, the expense of government-funded and privately funded care will catch up with us.
Wouldn’t it be wise to face the costs of health care now before our nation gets even “sicker” economically?