5/24/2009

"OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now."

From CSPAN via the Drudge Report:

SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?

OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we've seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.

So we've got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it's putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.

So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.

So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.

Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything...

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3 Comments:

Blogger Hypnagogue said...

Okay, I get it. The socialist argument goes: if health care inflation is the problem, then rationing is the solution. But how do you do it fairly? Restricting access to certain procedures (heart bypass, chemo) for certain demographics (age, race) can transform the makeup of the electorate in key battleground states.

It would be mass murder, but it would work.

5/24/2009 10:31 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Die Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei solved this problem long ago.

Don't worry, be happy!

5/25/2009 1:21 AM  
Blogger Steve B said...

If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.Wut the...?

Howz that work, exactly? I mean, how are they even remotely related?

5/26/2009 6:32 AM  

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