Health Care: Eblen Hits on a Truth, Misses Big Picture
The Herald-Leader's Tom Eblen recently wrote a column on the health care reform debate, where he makes the usual strawman arguments and negative unfounded assumptions against conservative proposals, but his first point is one we all should recognize:
There's a fascinating audio clip on YouTube. It's from a 1961 phonograph record in which a politically ambitious entertainer named Ronald Reagan tries his best to scare people about "socialized medicine."
The threat he warns about is legislation to create the program we now know as Medicare.
So here we are, nearly a half-century later, with talk radio entertainers and some Republican politicians trying their best to scare people about "socialized medicine."
The point he builds to is this:
What makes the recent tone of the national health care debate so ridiculous is that Americans have had "socialized medicine" for decades,...
How true. Unfortunately, he ends this sentence this way:
...and it has worked pretty well.
Really Tom? Not many of the rest of us equate 'going bankrupt' with 'working pretty well.'
Here's the country's bankruptcy from your programs that "work pretty well" in graphs from Keith Henessey:
While revenues have held consistent throughout history, spending is one the brink of disaster.
This spending projection is due almost entirely to the expense required to pay for entitlement programs as baby boomers retire.
About 3/5ths of that spending hump is Medicare and Medicaid, those programs that supposedly work "pretty well."
That's why we always find it so ridiculous when people like Eblen think the solution is a new entitlement.