Sunday, August 14, 2016

Healthcare reform to cut the federal budget

W all know that the federal budget is in trouble.  Has been since Obama became president.  Obama has managed to spend $1 trillion more each year than the IRS collects in taxes.  He sells bonds (T-bills) to the public to keep the Treasury checks from bouncing. 
  There are only two fixes for the problem, raise taxes (the favorite Democratic  plan) or reduce spending (the Republicans like this but never carry thru).  Right now, the second biggest outlay is healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare.  These are "entitlement" programs, they don't have to be approved or funded by act of Congress, they just are.   Eligible patients submit their medical bills, and Uncle pays them.  So the program costs cannot be controlled by law.  Right now, health care payments are the second biggest part of the US federal budget, 27% of total spending.  There are other big things (defense, Social Security, highways, and a bunch of others) but let's just look at one big enchilada for this essay. 
  Everyone agrees that health care costs in the US are twice the costs in any other country.  And for spending twice as much as any other country, US healthcare isn't all that good.  We are down around number 10, not number 1. 
  If we could just lower healthcare costs of  by half, like every other country in the world manages to do, we would chop Federal healthcare spending in half.  That would knock healthcare down to 13% of the federal budget, down from 27%.  That is serious money. 
   Neither The Donald nor Hillary are talking about this at all.  They should be.

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