Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Talking Point vs Reality: Health Care Reform’s Effect on Medicare

by Bruce Webb The latest Republican talking point, promoted among others by Chuck Grassley this morning, is that proposed cuts to Medicare make its financial situation more precarious. Why cut $500 billion if Medicare is already in trouble? This is totally backwards and shows a total unawareness of how Medicare is financed. So lets review: […]

The Myth vs Numeric Reality: HR3200 v Medicare

by Bruce Webb The current line of attack on Health Care reform from Republicans is that it proposes to Rob Gramma to Pay Pedro. I am not going to address the care for illegals canard today but do want to probe just what HR3200 does for Medicare on net. Starting from the following two charts […]

Medicare and "present value"

by reader coberly Andrew Biggs wrote that current Medicare recipients have not paid enough for the benefits they will recieve. He states that “since this is zero sum, it means that future taxpayers will get less than they pay for.” Here is an excerpt of what he said, followed by my comments. Biggs said: unlike […]

Are Medicare Administrative Costs High?

by Tom Bozzo A few weeks ago, reader Pete emailed a link to Real Clear Politics, where Tom Bevan cited an analysis by Robert Book of the Heritage Foundation that purports to show that Medicare administrative costs, widely claimed (e.g.) to be far lower than comparable private sector costs when expressed as a fraction of […]

Re-tooling the Medicare/medicaid model

rdan I read the Op-Ed in the Boston Globe and asked Doug to write a piece or pieces in a more detailed fashion. There have been allusions to this issue as a cost factor, but no policy consideration here to date. Post by Doug Brown Due to the complexity of organizations today, there is commonly […]

CBO: Long Term Budget Outlook Part 3-Yes it is the Medicare/Medicaid

by Bruce Webb In comments on the last post MG was challenging 2Slugs contention that the real issue was Medicare, while BuffPilot was accusing me of ignoring Obama spending. Well I am on my way out the door and will let the CBO do the talking for me:That near term temporary light blue peak? Obama […]

Here’s your Medicare Part D

by Divorced one like Bush Time for some real numbers. This example is also an example for people to understand the need for fixing our system of paying for health care. Because, even in the senior years, the cost can bankrupt you. My parents, 2008 adjusted gross income $43,291. $19,745 is capital gains from a […]

World Economic Meltdown: Crisis for Social Insurance Solvency? Or opportunity to Kill It?

by Bruce Webb Well the Republican Party and economic conservatives generally have made their position clear, they are openly using the current meltdown as an opportunity to kill Medicare and Social Security as they exist today. We saw this at the Stimulus Summit where the very first question by the Republicans, coming from Senate Minority […]

The Fierce Urgency of "Nothing" (the Democratic plan for Social Security)

by Bruce Webb Andrew Biggs references an editorial from the Charleston SC Post and Courier Advance Entitlements Reform However, President Obama’s major entitlement-reform offensive strikes on the Medicare front. He proposed, in his speech to Congress, to deliver “quality, affordable health care for every American” while also bringing runaway costs under control. That challenging goal […]

Krugman was Wrong today

Ken Houghton Or at least optimistic. McCain is going after Medicare and Medicaid. But Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Sen. McCain’s senior policy adviser, said Sunday that the campaign has always planned to fund the tax credits, in part, with savings from Medicare and Medicaid. Those government health-care programs serve seniors, poor families and the disabled. Medicare spending […]