Entitlements on the back of an envelope

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    We cannot continue ot have our health care costs as a nation rising faster than our GDP. This is not sustainable.


    " Entitlements on the back of an envelope

    Today’s “fiscal responsibility” summit, which was originally much feared as a Trojan Horse for Social Security cuts, has apparently been downgraded into relative obscurity. But I thought it might nonetheless be worth talking briefly about the math of the entitlements issue.

    Usually this is done with fairly elaborate projections, but I think the essence can be explained with a back-of-the-envelope calculation. So here goes.

    Right now, the federal government spends about 9 percent of GDP on the three biggies, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the total roughly evenly divided between retirement and medical care.

    We have an aging population, which will tend to increase the share of GDP spent on these programs. Looking ahead to circa 2050, we’ll go from about 3 workers per retiree to 2. This would, other things equal, raise spending on the programs by about 4 percentage points of GDP. (Not 4.5, because only part of Medicaid is age-related). That is, we’d spend 6.75 percent of GDP on retirement, 6.25 percent on health care.

    Now, 4 percent of GDP is a lot, but not catastrophic: remember, the share of GDP spent by the government currently is 10 percentage points or more higher in a number of wealthy countries than it is here.

    What makes the projections you actually see so scary is the assumption that “excess cost growth” in health care will continue — that is, health spending per person will continue to rise at close to 2 percent faster than GDP per capita. This means, circa 2050, that health care costs will be roughly double what pure demography would predict, adding another 6 plus percentage points to the entitlements projection. Looking beyond that, demography adds very little — it’s all health care.

    So if excess cost growth in health care can be brought under control, the entitlement problem is manageable. If not, even savage cuts in Social Security will make little difference. "

    - http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/entitlements-on-the-back-of-an-envelope/
     
  2. chuck2336

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    The problem lies within the first word in the title of your post. There are to many people who feel like they are entitled to have free health care.
     
  3. KenH

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    Don't worry, chuck2336, we are paying plenty for health care right now and will pay even more in the future, in my opinion. There is no such thing as free health care.

    BTW, you may hate entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare but they ain't going away unless everything else goes, too - jobs, private pensions, private savings - everything.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    fiscal responsibility summit :laugh:
     
  5. chuck2336

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    It is not that I hate anything. I am talking from 20 years of experiance in the healthcare system. While you are talking from how you wish things could be.

    Your wishes or my experiance for that matter wont change the fact that the bigges problem within the cost of healthcare are people who abuse the system. They recieve free health care because they recieve care and then leave without ever intending to pay the bill. SO then the bill gets passed down to you (I assume) and me, the people that have insurance and / or intend to pay what is owed.

    Again remember that hospitals are businesses not ministries. Doctors are healthcare providers not pastors.

    Again I say the system needs attention. There is plenty wrong with it. But until we can cure the "I am entitled" infection. Nothing will change even if we went to nationalized healthcare.

    I said it here before the election and say it now. Nationalized healthcare aint going to happen in america. Obama can be the first twenty term prez and it still wont happen. The insurance lobbiest and the AMA and many other medical lobbiest are just to powerful for this to pass.
     
  6. Salty

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    And dont forget me. Once again, I took a Medicad patient in my cab to the doctors office. $50 - thats right Fifty dollars - one way! that means $100 round trip for the lady - and you and I paid for it.

    A good portion of our daytime taxi business is all medicaid!
     
  7. targus

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    Changing to a national health care system is not going to change the demographics of the country. All that such a system will do is ration health care services in the name of cost cutting.

    It's interesting that according to this author the government currently spends the same on Social Security and health care.

    The solutions floated for saving Social Security are usually cutting benefits and holding off paying benefits by raising the retirement age.

    The solution of "fixing" the health care system is nationalization - which will be cutting benefits and holding off providing benefits (so that patients can have a chance to die first).
     
  8. BigBossman

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    I'll agree with you on that point. If we socialize mediciene to where it is "free", then we would still pay for it. We would only get to keep a small portion of our pay checks (which I can't imagine my checks getting any smaller than they already are.)
     
  9. Joseph M. Smith

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    Now that I am in the Medicare recipient stage of my life, I notice the strange phenomenon of medical billing. If I have a procedure done, the provider lists a large fee; Medicare approves a lesser amount, and then pays something less again than the approved amount. My secondary insurer picks up the remainder of the approved amount. But what's the meaning of those huge initial charges? Surely the hospitals/doctors/labs know that they are not going to get those amounts and that there are regulations that set limits. Why scare us all with the large numbers?

    And then there is the matter of providers ordering tests that are expensive and may not even be necessary ....
     
  10. LadyEagle

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  11. chuck2336

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    I did not know that medicad paid for cab rides.
     
  12. Ps104_33

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  13. billwald

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    If we pulled our troops out of all foreign lands and started minding our own business the military cost savings would stave off the medical funding problem for a century.

    The back of my envelope indicates that the give aways of the last 3 months and the unbudgeted wars will cost every family a half million dollars over the next 10 years. In other words, the system is being crashed and problem will become obtaining sufficient food and shelter to stay alive, not the cost of MRIs. Only billionaires will get MRIs.
     
  14. Salty

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    And if we stop paying for everyones health care (as well) we would all have a lot more money in our pay check!

    But keep one thing in mind. The US constituion calls for the military - but it does NOT call for health care. Therefore, health care is unconstituional!

    If individual States or Commonwealths want to spend the $$ on medical - thats another story.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    Not to worry! The leftist will institute a policy of involuntary euthanasia when the going gets tough. Oregon and Washington on the far left coast already have a policy of voluntary euthanasia and the country has had a policy of involuntary euthanasia for the unborn since 1973.
     
  16. Bro. Curtis

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    In Florida, they have an INVOLUNTARY euthanasia practice.

    Just ask Terri Schiavo.
     
  17. LeBuick

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    The big price is supposed to be the doctors actual fee yet Medicare has a negotiated price for the procedure.

    I read somewhere that the doctor can write the difference off on their taxes as a loss.
     
  18. targus

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    Only if they are on the accrual basis and have already declared the unpaid portion as income. In which case they already paid taxes on money that they did not receive.

    That you would make this mistake indicates to me the lack of depth of your understanding of finance.

    Kind of takes the shine off your opionons concerning the economy, the spending bill, jobs, taxes, the deficit, the debt, and the spending bill.
     
  19. LeBuick

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    I prefaced my comment by saying this was something I read somewhere. I have no desire to know tax laws doctors deal with since they don't concern me. And every one, including you is entitled to an opinion. Not sure why me not knowing how doctors file taxes would change that???
     
  20. dragonfly

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    Nice try, but she was already brain dead. Her husband only followed through on her wishes.
     

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