The problem is not Medicare & Medicaid spending, but excessive health care costs: Ezra Klein

Here is a thoughtful editorial by Ezra Klein for the Washington Post. Everyone knows that the largest parts of our federal government’s spending include Medicare and Medicaid. But, he makes the case that the root of our federal budget deficit problem is not that spending for Medicare and Medicaid is excessive, but rather that the cost of all health care is excessive. This is what drives Medicare & Medicaid spending, and this affects not just Medicare & Medicaid, but also businesses, households, and all consumers of medical care.

In his view, our main societal problem should not be conceptualized as a federal budget deficit problem caused by “too much spending for entitlements,” but rather one of health care costs rising out of control. This is more complex than a federal budget problem. It is a systemic issue regarding our health care delivery system, that needs fixing. Spending less for Medicare and Medicaid will not fix this problem for our society.

Without addressing the root cause of our federal budget deficit, excessive and rising health care costs, business and consumers will continue to be injured. We should be focusing on fixing our health care delivery system to reign in rising health care costs. This is a far more complex problem to solve than merely one of spending and budgeting by the federal government.

Read the editorial at the Washington Post » Ezra Klein – The problem is not MedicareandMedicaid. It’s health care..

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