What prompts the restart is that Karl Denninger over at The Market Ticker posts a good example of the math that is assuring the economic collapse of the US, if outside forces (the EU, or others) don't do it sooner.
So, according to Nancy Pelosi, both Medicare and Social Security are on the ballot, and therefore you must vote for Obama, because if you don't you're going to lose your Medicare and Social Security.As Bill Whittle put it in this recent video, "Those generous, widespread entitlement benefits won't be paid if you vote Republican. And they won't be paid if you vote Democrat, because those entitlements are simply not going to be paid one way or another because there's just no money. It's all gone". You should watch that video, if you haven't seen it.
There's one problem that Nancy hasn't addressed -- if you vote for Obama you will definitely lose your Social Security and Medicare.
Quoting Denninger again:
In 1980 this is what the Federal Budget looked like:Denninger brings more than a little pucker factor to this story, as he tends to do. But he's got the details right. Go read.
Health Care (all programs) was $55.3 billion.
In 2011 the Federal Budget looked like this:
And Health Care spending was $858.2 billion. That is approximately a 9.3% annualized growth over that period of time.
Note that as a percentage of the budget Pensions (that is, Social Security) and Defense did not materially change. Health care exploded.
This is where the problem is.
It has been said that there are only about three basic different ways of paying for health care: Free market (examples are Lasik eye surgery and most cosmetic procedures), a single payer system like the British NHS or Canadian system where care is rationed by bureaucrats, and a third party system where someone other than the patient pays the provider, so market forces don't really work well and rationing is hardly imposed. That third system is the worst of all alternatives, and is the one we have. This story sums up the stupidity pretty well. An Arizona woman gets stung by a scorpion, and eventually gets billed over $83,000 for two doses of antivenin, or $39,562 per dose, 10x what the hospital pays for the stuff. While in Mexico, a dose costs $100, instead of that $39,562. The 400x mark up from the price in Mexico partially reflects the lower amount used in the US, but mostly reflects the way hospitals bill, which could be a whole subject in itself.
Obviously, I believe the free market approach is best. From everything I read, Lasik and cosmetic surgery are getting better and cheaper every year, just like most things bought on a truly free market. A free market along with insurance to backstop catastrophic losses; insurance that isn't required to pay for the federally-mandated list of things that they must cover, along with tort restrictions on the lawsuit industry, would go a long way toward reducing the runaway rate of health care cost increases.