” The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, primarily because of the rising cost of health care and the aging of the U.S. population.”– Congressional Budget Office March, 2010
When you visit the CBO’s website that is the very first message to greet you in a very PROMINENT headline on their homepage! The chart below this dire warning is a graphical depiction of how sharply spending on Medicare and Medicaid escalates above spending on Social Security and on every other Federal expenditure combined will continue to rise for years to come.
The impact of the healthcare reform package signed into law by the President still has many unknowns. Like anything else it has its positives and negatives, supporters and detractors, but one thing is certain– we could not as a nation continue down this path to certain calamity.
– Aging Baby Boomers (the “Silver Tsunami“) will spark an explosion of demand on healthcare and long term care services/spending
– The U.S. and world economy continues to confront challenges and a changing dynamic that will limit the ability of the U.S. government at the state and federal level to give everyone everything they need/want
– Pressure on the individual to be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living in retirement and senior care is going to increase as government dollars/programs become more difficult to access
The sweeping changes in the newly enacted health reform legislation came amidst much debate and political battle– but when you consider the demographic and economic realities over the next 10-20 years, what we have just witnessed is just the warm up. When serious reform efforts turn to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid we will see a battle that will make us look back on the last two years of economic and political upheaval as the “good old days”.