Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
John Goodman published a summary of Present Value of Unfunded liabilities the government has for Social Security, Medicare Part A, B and D. The $34 trillion dollars I previously mentioned was not far off. This figure does not include the increased liability if the government takes over the healthcare system and is the single party payer.
“ On Good Friday (when most people were off, including most reporters) the Administration announced that the following Tuesday during Spring Break (when Congress was in recess and everyone's attention was focused elsewhere) the Social Security/Medicare Trustees annual report would be released.”
“ Apparently someone isn't anxious for you to pay close attention to this year's report. The table below may explain why. The federal government has promised more than $100 trillion in benefits over and above expected taxes and premium payments!”
PRESENT VALUE OF UNFUNDED LIABILITIES
Program 75-Year Infinite Horizon
Social Security $ 6.6 trillion $15.8 trillion
Medicare Part A $12.7 trillion $34.7 trillion
Medicare Part B $15.7 trillion $34.0 trillion
Medicare Part D $7.9 trillion $17.2 trillion
Total Medicare $36.3 trillion $85.9 trillion
Total Medicare and Social Security $42.9 trillion $101.7 trillion
*These calculations ignore the existence of the trust fund, estimated at a little more than $2 trillion.
Source: Social Security/Medicare Trustees Reports 2008
How could a presidential candidate believe he or she could possibly afford to provide Medicare like insurance to all citizens when they cannot afford to provide it for the seniors they have an obligation to?
Why don’t they start listening to physicians? They should study blogs physicians write. They would get a pretty good idea of what is going on at ground level. A good place to start is KevinPo’s blog.
Dr. Po picks up a lot.
Rather than the presidential candidates creating false hope about improving the healthcare system, they should study human nature, human goals and what motivates people to be responsible for themselves. They should study what would give patient incentive to save their healthcare dollars. A clue would be to study my Ideal Medical Saving Account.
If we continue heading down the present path and add yet another unmanageable entitlement program we will be in bigger trouble. There will be a shortage of physicians, limited access to care and no money to pay anyone. I do not think the Federal Reserve Bank can print enough money to cover the dysfunctional entitlement program.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.