Medicare Myth Busting

I’ll be speaking tomorrow on Medicare and the myth of a crisis in Medicare financing.  More information and a viewable copy of the Powerpoint is available here at my teaching portfolio blog.

In a nutshell: The “crisis” in Medicare costs and funding doesn’t exist.  It’s contrived and ignores reality.  Yes, there are issues in Medicare funding.  There almost always have been.  But it’s not a crisis.  And further, the whole problem of a “ballooning deficit” that demands we cut Medicare or throw grandma from the train also doesn’t exist.  The deficit is declining.  That’s what happens with even weak growth.

In fact, we don’t have a Medicare cost crisis, we have an overall healthcare system cost problem in the U.S. – especially when compared to the performance of any other developed or developing nation.  Medicare could actually be part of the solution to our healthcare crisis.

Not Performing Up To Potential

When I was kid there was a comment I dreaded but got too often on too many grade reports to my parents: Not performing up to potential. I hated that. I must say, though, that there times when it did motivate me to do better.

The same comment, not performing up to potential, can easily be applied to the U.S. economy for at least the last 6 years.  I really wish it would motivate our economic policymakers to do better, but alas, they seem to be indifferent to the challenges.

For the details of just how much we are under-performing, I give you the Center for Budget Policy Priorities summation of the latest Congressional Budget Agency report on the economy (below the fold): Continue reading