Scott Burns' nationally syndicated column ran a particularly good story
August 7th on health care as a "bet-the-country-sized problem." Here are the numbers:
The unfunded liabilities of Medicare, according to the latest generational accounting figures from economists Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters, now amount to $35.5 trillion. That's about five times the $7.2 trillion unfunded liability of Social Security. It's also about 10 times the Treasury debt held by the public.
Worse, the Medicare liability is growing with the speed of a nasty cancer. It will increase by $1 trillion more by next year's presidential election, dwarfing the recognized federal deficit. Then it will grow $5 trillion more by the presidential election of 2008.
There's also so good stuff here from John Wennberg's "Dartmough Atlas of Health Care
," showing that "geography is destiny" when it comes to what sorts of health care services you get.