In this article, economist Don Boudreaux reminds us of the federal government’s past cost estimates for health care “reform” efforts, and issues a challenge to current bureaucrats to put their money where their Obamacare estimates are:
When Medicare was created in 1965, its champions predicted that, by 1990, taxpayers would be spending $12 billion annually (adjusted for inflation) on it. In fact, in 1990 Medicare cost American taxpayers $107 billion. (Its annual cost today is nearing $500 billion.)
The story is the same with Medicaid. Projected to cost $238 million during its first year, Medicaid in fact cost more than $1 billion during that year. And today, as The Wall Street Journal reported last Oct. 21, “Medicaid now costs 37 times more than it did when it was launched — after adjusting for inflation.”
Such a disgraceful track record makes the Obama administration/CBO estimates for Obamacare laughable. With that in mind, Boudreaux issues the following challenge to Budget Director Peter Orzag and White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle:
So I challenge you to put your money where your words are. Let’s make a real bet.
Pick any year in the future between 2021 and 2046. Tell me your estimate today of how much Uncle Sam will spend on health care that year. I’ll bet each of you $5,000 that Uncle Sam’s actual expenditures on health care in that year — adjusted for inflation — will be at least 25 percent higher than your estimate.
If Uncle Sam’s health care expenditures in that year are less than 25 percent higher than you project them to be, I’ll congratulate you as I mail you your checks. If those expenditures are 25 percent higher than you project them to be — or more — I’ll contribute my winnings to a private health-care charity, as I predict that the need for philanthropic contributions along those lines will be great.
Do we have a bet?