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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sooner or later, we have to decide what we will and will not pay for out of public funds.

Why is it that medical care is the only economic good that people feel they are entitled to no matter what is needed and no matter what the cost? Is it because it is a matter of life and death? I suppose so...but then tell me how it is going to be paid for? No other good is viewed the same way...all you need regardless of the cost. As long as this is the attitude of the American public, Medicare will remain on an unsustainable path and will be the fiscal "tomato that ate Philadelphia". Social Security is but a tiny little problem compared to Medicare and Medicaid and the promised future unfunded liabilities (by the way, nothing has been said yet about long-term care of the elderly, paid for by Medicaid, which is the real resource eater). Sooner or later, we will have to decide what government will and will not pay for with Medicare and Medicaid. As the late and great Herb Stein once said "something that can't go on forever won't".

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