Amid all the shouting and tumult over the defeat of "Trumpcare" in Congress, it's worth remembering that this is basically all political posturing. Both sides of the debate are ignoring the real issue.
As Karl Denninger has pointed out:
Last fiscal year the Federal Government spent $1.417 trillion on Medicare and Medicaid, 9.3% more than the $1.297 trillion it spent the previous year. Last year was not an aberration; it was in fact very close to the historical expansion rate from the 1990s forward. Spending has almost quadrupled on these programs since FY 1998. Total outlays in 1998 were $1.651 trillion of which Medicare and Medicaid comprised 23%. Last fiscal year 37% of all fiscal expenditures were made on these two programs. The ACA (Obamacare), for all of its warts, only managed to dampen that rate of expansion in spending for two years, after which it returned to trend. At this rate of spending expansion within the next four years the government will attempt to spend $2.02 trillion on these two programs combined which will blow an approximately $600 billion additional hole, per year, in the deficit. That will not be able to be financed since if you ignore this issue it will be clear that within 10 years the government would try to spend $3.4 trillion per year on the same two programs -- an utter impossibility under any rational expectation for economic expansion. The impact on private health spending has been even larger on a percentage-of-increase basis due to the blatant cost-shifting that is well-documented in myriad reports and is responsible for a large portion of the stunting of economic progress in America that has occurred over the previous two decades.
. . .
We either admit to what we've been doing and stop the scam or it will overtake the economy and our ability to pay -- both in the government and otherwise, within the next 4-5 years.
We either stop it now or it destroys the economy, asset prices and the nation.
This isn't politics. It's math.
The facts are what they are. Demonstrating them is easy and irrefutable.
There's more at the link.
I'm unmoved by assertions of ideological purity. I note with cynicism that the chairman of the so-called "Freedom Caucus", Rep. Mark Meadows, derived much of his election-year support from the health care industry, so he's hardly a disinterested party.
The health care industry is in this to make as much money as it can out of the pockets of ordinary Americans. That's the only reason the current mess exists. As many commentators have pointed out, Obamacare "enriches only the health insurance giants and their shareholders". Its official name, the 'Affordable' Care Act, is a joke. (As an interesting exercise, look at how much input the health care industry had when the act was being written. The link leads to a very left-wing, progressive-oriented article, by the way - it's hardly conservative fear-mongering.)
I'm glad so-called "Trumpcare" did not pass. It would have done nothing to fix this problem. It would merely have stuck a few more fingers into a massively leaking dike. Obamacare is a catastrophe. It needs to go away - regardless of screams of outrage that it will leave this, or that, or the other many millions of Americans without healthcare coverage. If those Americans stay with Obamacare, or Medicaid, or any other bureaucratically and politically approved form of coverage, they're going to find it worthless anyway, because this country will be so bankrupt it won't be able to afford to pay for it.
Obamacare is an abomination. Trumpcare would have been the same. Let's get rid of both of them, and return to sanity in healthcare - fiscal and otherwise. We're already going broke as a nation. If it isn't fixed, healthcare will merely bankrupt us faster.