Republican Senator Tom Coburn, whose primary profession is as a doctor, has crunched some numbers (He’s pretty good at crunching numbers—you might have read his highly illuminating “Government Wastebook”) and given us an estimate of the bloat escalation of existing government health programs.
Forget Obamacare. Even when all we had was Medicaid, we were already doomed, according to Coburn. Obamacare just exacerbates an already dismal government spending situation. The numbers are almost unbelievable.
Using government data, in his report Coburn compares the initial spending and participation of each federal health-care program to its recent outlays in inflation adjusted terms.
Coburn, a medical doctor by trade, begins with Medicaid, highlighting that when the program was at its inception in 1966, it cost $800 million and had an enrollment of 4 million people. In 2012, Medicaid spent $250.5 billion on 55.6 million people — a cost increase of 31,212.5 percent and enrollment increase of 1,290 percent over 46 years.
This actually takes inflation into account.
That’s just astronomical. 31,000 per cent?! And Medicaid is a far less intrusive and extensive program than Obamacare. We should all be thankful it has taken so long for people to enroll in the public insurance exchanges. Because it is likely that a fully implemented Obamacare would completely break our already teetering national economy.
But that’s not all. Coburn observed that all government health programs have become more and more bloated and expensive over time. Basically, the civil government has dramatically underestimated cost and dramatically overestimated benefits in every single case. In his typically understated way, Coburn explains what our response should be to this information:
Based on a review of the facts, readers have solid ground for concluding the federal government has a poor track record of constraining health-care spending over time. Accordingly, in light of the reality of past trends, concern about the trajectory of the future health-care spending—whether in the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, or other programs—is well placed.
Wouldn’t you agree?