Are We Headed Toward Bankruptcy?

This is Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt:

As Post health reporter Ceci Connolly explained in a front-page story last week, the House bill also does not do much to lower costs. It includes some valuable pilot programs. But it doesn’t end the tax break for employer-provided insurance, a break that is both highly regressive and encourages spending. It doesn’t allow for much evidence-based medicine that could wring excess treatment out of the system. It doesn’t empower an independent commission that could make cost-control decisions that are too hard for Congress. It doesn’t target the cost of malpractice litigation and defensive medicine.

[Meanwhile], according to a CBO analysis, the government will be spending 24.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2019 while raising only 19 percent in revenue: a huge, unsustainable gap.

Comments (3)

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  1. Juan O'Malley says:

    By 2019, almost a quarter (24.5%) of the gross national income will be spent by the government? Can that be true?

    That idea is so offensive to the notion of free markets and democracy, I can’t reconcile how we can still claim to be the world’s greatest economy when the government spends a quarter of the nation’s GDP.

    It is disgusting that 535 people in Congress (about 1/600,000th of the population) can so recklessly spend the income produced by more than 300 million Americans.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Many physicians are so disenchanted with medicine they no longer advise their children to become doctors. This is a mistake. Baby Boomers especially should advise their kids (and grand kids) to become doctors, nurses, radiology technicians, physical therapists and other allied health professionals.

    The reason? Without real reform, health care spending will grow to become the dominant portion of our economy. Anyone who wants a job by mid-century better have medical-related training because health expenditure will have crowded out other forms of consumption. Thus health care will be the only job in town!

  3. Ken says:

    The answer to your question is: “yes.”