Thursday, December 31, 2009

New York Times on Health Plan Double Counting

Robert Pear of the New York Times has a good discussion of the "double counting" issue with regard to the Medicare (and by extension, Social Security) trust funds in the Senate health reform bill:

At the heart of the fight over health care legislation is a paradox that befuddles lawmakers of both parties. Separate bills passed by the Senate and the House would squeeze nearly a half-trillion dollars from projected spending on Medicare over the next 10 years. These savings would help offset the cost of providing coverage to people who are uninsured. At the same time, federal accountants say the money would shore up the Medicare trust fund, so the program could continue paying hospitals to treat older Americans in the future. In other words, Medicare savings mean both more money available to spend now and the appearance of more money to spend later on Medicare. How is this possible?

Click here to read the whole story. Also look to the Sunday Washington Examiner, where I'll have an article about this issue.

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