Democrats have no answer to Medicare woes

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Robert Moffit:

America is drowning in red ink. Washington is racking up record deficits, with no end in sight. Unless Congress changes its ways — and fast — they will spend this nation into the poorhouse.

Driving this fiscal meltdown are the three big entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And the worst is Medicare.

Medicare is nearing insolvency faster than anticipated. The Medicare trustees’ report featured a stunning change from last year’s assessment: The hospitalization portion of Medicare will be exhausted by 2024 instead of 2029.

The Heritage Foundation projects that, left unchecked, the Big Three entitlements will consume all federal tax revenues by 2049. Something’s got to give.

Yet many politicians refuse to offer solutions. Instead, they savage Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and anybody else offering serious reform plans, and fall back on comforting talking points: We only need to “tinker around the edges” — a little tax hike here, a little tweak there and, voila, problem solved.

That’s nonsense.

Writing in Politico, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown correctly observed that, the sooner Congress addresses Medicare, the less painful it will be. But his suggestion that the program’s ills can be cured by tinkering with Medicare’s administration, and ferreting out waste, fraud and abuse is nonsense.

Sure, there’s waste in Medicare, but what drives the program’s explosive growth is demographics and the demand for modern medicine, not improper payments. Life spans are expanding. Baby boomers are doubling the Medicare population. Those factors will place a crushing tax burden on younger workers to support more and more retirees for longer periods of time.

Saying that America must not “change Medicare as we know it” misses the point. Medicare is generating enormous debt. Failure to enact reasonable reforms will impoverish the nation and leave the program to collapse of its own weight....

Demogaguery is not the answer, but it seems to be the only one the Democrats are willing to expose to the public at the moment. Their real answers are much more Draconian than the Ryan plan. They include a top down death panel approach along with confiscatory taxes and eventual bankruptcy. The Ryan plan is the only sensible approach on the table right now.

No wonder the Democrats have not passed any form of a budget in nearly 800 days. They are still in cover up mode.
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