The federal government spent $952 billion in 2007 on elderly benefits, up from $601 billion in 2000. It's the biggest function of the federal government. States chipped in $27 billion more in 2007, mostly for nursing homes.
All three major senior programs - Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - experienced dramatically escalating costs that outstripped inflation and the growth in the senior population.
How will we solve this 'problem' as the Boomers retire in the next ten years? According to AARP there is no problem.
"We have a health care crisis. We don't have an entitlement crisis," says David Certner, legislative policy director of the AARP, which represents seniors. [from the same article].
So as the role of government in health care expands mightily we seem to have a health care crisis. What a coincidence! Well, luckily the geniuses in the Democratic Party have a solution to the non-entitlement health care crisis-- a greatly expanded role of government in health care. I mean, if it worked so well with the seniors, doesnt it make eminent good sense to spread the success of Medicare and Medicaid to the deserving non-senior population? What a great way to cut costs and improve quality! Like in Britain or Canada. Or Bulgaria. Or Russia. Or Tanzania. Oh, OK those are all government health care systems that are crumbling while they bankrupt their respective national treasuries so lets not use them as an example. Hmmm... gee, I cant exactly think of a government health care system that actually delivers a level of health care even remotely comparable to the private-public system in the US but I'm sure there are plenty of them.
But the point is not the quality of care, its the cost. The "dramatically escalating costs that outstripped inflation and the growth in the senior population." We also have to add on the cost of Federal PreSchool (another funny coincidence; as the Federal role in education has expanded the cost of education has escalated and the quality has plummeted), the government program to replace the oil companies with 'green alternative energy' produced by federally-funded quasi-public companies; I cant even remember the other non-entitlements proposed by our Progressive Candidates, who will end the stingy, miserly, no-frills government of the anti-people Bush Years(insert hysterical laughter here). There isnt enough money in the universe for a tenth of this. Obamarama and Miz Hilly say they are going to fund these modest programs by ending the War In Iraq and dramatically raising taxes on 'the rich' and the evil corporations. Translated into reality this means a total gutting of the military and the greatest capital flight in history. How do I know this? One hundred years of history. Every time these tax policies are implemented the same thing happens. Rich people either shelter their money in offshore investments or just spend it without investing it and corporations just cut operations or move offshore.
So that is the stark reality. The 'change' that people are voting for will destroy this nation. Unfortunately the Republican's lame and aged candidate has never held a job in the private sector or had any experience except as a student, a naval officer, a POW, and a legislator. Obamarama is the same, as is Miz Hilly. The private sector is unknown to any of them except as a source of campaign cash; consequently they see it as being made up of the kind of crooks that bribe politicians to get something they shouldnt have.
We have evidence as to what happens when the Tsunami hits...the Former Soviet Union. Seniors freezing to death in the streets, worthless salaries, a military immobilized by aging equipment, severe cutbacks and rock-bottom morale (especially among the officers), unequipped hospitals where you have to rent your bed, buy your own medicine on the black market and bribe a doctor to look at you and eventually a dictatorship to bring some semblence of order. I thought these things would happen in Europe first but it seems that we're all in the same boat. Bon Voyage!