Don’t expect this updated assessment, that Medicare now is expected to be viable till 2029, to stem the expected push to gut Social Security and Medicare. From Bloomberg:
Medicare will gain an extra 12 years of fiscal life as a result of the health law signed in March by President Barack Obama, a government report said, supporting the administration’s claims about the value of the overhaul….
A report issued by Medicare on Aug 2 predicted the overhaul may more than double the time before the program ran out of funds. Under the health law, $145 billion is scheduled to be saved over a decade as a result of payment cuts to Medicare Advantage while $205 billion in savings will come from as a result of lower payments to Medicare providers, according to an administration report released Monday.
Note the story recites a common mischaracterization: that the stresses on Medicare are due to both demographics and rising health care cost assumptions. The cause is fact is almost solely the rising health care cost projections. We cannot harp on this issue enough: the US has grotesquely costly health care which produces no better results than that of other advanced economies. And the differences, in terms of rationing and queuing, are exaggerated. What are insurer denials of coverage for costly treatments if not rationing? And delays in seeing a specialist are pretty common (indeed, in NYC, it’s hard to find a GP any more).
Obama, as with the banking industry, blew his opportunity to have a real impact on the underlying problems of health care that lead to high costs, including its fee for service model and perverse incentives.