News of the Day ... in Perspective2/6/2004
Estimated cost of Medicare change already up 35%
The budget proposed by the Bush Administration projects the cost of the Medicare law to be $534 billion by the end of 2013, more than a third higher than the original estimate.
Pivotal votes to pass the package were won by promising that costs would track the Congressional Budget Office estimate of $395 billion. Administration officials said that their estimate was not ready until now (AP, 1/30/04).
The costs of the drug benefit will add tremendously to the tax burden on future generations. According to U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, the accumulated annual deficits of the federal government amount to $7 trillion, or $24,000 for man, woman, and child in the country. Adding the gap between Social Security and Medicare commitments and the money put aside to fund them brings the total per capita liability to more than $100,000 (NY Times 2/4/04 http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/04/opinion/04WALK.html).
Medicare Fallout, by Robert Moffit (AAPS News, February 2004).
Prescription for Disaster, AAPS News, August 2003.
AAPS testimony by Donald Quinlan, M.D., in 1975, concerning the exploding cost of Medicare. (“Fighting to Preserve Private Medicine: the Role of AAPS,” J Am Phys Surg, spring 2003.