Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Will federal government spending be captured by the elderly?

According to a January 2017 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), spending on entitlement programs for the elderly is the primary factor driving increased budget deficets over the next 10 years.  The CBO states: Outlays rise faster than revenues—by about 5 percent a year, on average—increasing from 20.7 percent of GDP in 2017 to […]

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How much of your income goes to Medicare and Social Security?

15.3%. Does that seem a little high?  If you check your paycheck, the amount of money that is actually deducted from your paycheck for Social Security and Medicare is only 7.65%.  Employers, however, pay an equal amount of taxes on your behalf (i.e., an additional 7.65%).  Previous studies have indicated that all taxes employers pay […]

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The CBO’s Budget Outlook: Not Good

In January, the CBO released a report titled The Budget and Economic Outlook:  Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020.  A summary of the findings is available on the CBO Director’s blog.  Today, however, I focus on CBO’s evaluation of how changes in health care spending affect the federal budget. “Medicaid spending (excluding stimulus funding) increased by […]

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Medicare trust fund to be tapped out by 2017

Bond Markets seem to be concerned over the escalating level of U.S. Government debt.  Yields rose during the latest $14 billion auction of U.S. 30-year Treasury Bonds.  This graph shows an ominous budget deficit trend as well.  There seems to be good reason for this.   American’s stimulus plan and entitlement programs are putting an […]

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No Increase in Social Security Benefits

The N.Y. Times reports that Social Security benefits will not increase this year.  This makes sense on a number of levels.  First, over the last year we have been experiencing deflation.  The CPI decreased -0.4% between March 2008 and March 2009.  Second, wage growth has been negative as well over the past year.  Unemployment has […]

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Canadian Social Security and Well-Being

Does Social Security work?  By that, I mean does giving elderly individuals a government pension increase their level of income, the amount of goods the can consume, or even their happiness? An NBER working paper by Baker, Gruber and Milligan (2009) tries to answer this question in the Canadian setting. Background Currently, Canadian income transfer […]

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Who should be responsible for your retirement?

The Economist reports that Argentina has recently passed “a law to nationalise the country’s private pension system.”  Is this a good thing? With the stock market in the tank, many individuals yearn for the security of a government-funded retirement plans compared to private, individual investments in stocks and bonds.  However, public pensions may not be so […]

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Age Inflation

Medicare was implemented in 1965 to cover the medical costs of the oldest members in society.  In 1965,  the U.S. life expectancy was only 70 years old.  Now, however, life expectancy at birth is over 78 years.  Medicare is now not just covering the oldest of the old, it also covers the “moderately” old since […]

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I.O.U.S.A.

The U.S. is in a huge amount of debt. This will only worsen in the short- to medium-term as the the baby boomers retire and Medicare and Social Security budgets balloon. Here’s a movie about it. “This country has started consuming more than it produces.” – Warren Buffet

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Medicare to surpass Social Security expenditures in 2028

The [Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust] fund also continues to fail our long-range test of close actuarial balance by a wide margin. The projected date of HI Trust Fund exhaustion is 2019, the same as in last year’s report, when dedicated revenues would be sufficient to pay only 78 percent of HI costs. Projected HI dedicated […]

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