Sunday, May 6, 2012

You should live so long

Keith Hennessey says, we won't get to the Medicare part of the entitlements crisis, because the Social Security shortfalls will hit us before that;
If you do not change Social Security’s promised benefit payouts you would need to set aside $23.2 trillion today to permanently fill the hole between promised Social Security benefits and dedicated Social Security taxes (almost all of which are payroll taxes).
....There is an incorrect and misleading conventional wisdom that health care costs are the principal driver of our long-term entitlement spending problem.  That’s true, but only starting about 20 years from now.  For the next two decades demographics, specifically the retirement of the Baby Boomers, is the biggest driver of entitlement spending growth.  The point that everyone misses is that Medicare (and Medicaid) spending growth are driven by a combination of health cost growth and demographics.  When you combine the demographic factor driving part of Medicare spending growth with the demographic cost driver of Social Security, you account for more of the total spending growth than if you look only at the effect of per capita health spending growth. 
Hennessey also says that the Obama administration's assertions about Obamacare are helping to obscure this reality.

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