The new Medicare Trustees Report was released, and for once, I’m not going to tell you to go read it. It’s 229 pages, and it’s too dry even for me. But Paul Krugman made a graph that’s worth looking at:
What you see in blue is the projection for Medicare spending in the future from the 2009 report (before health care reform was passed). What you see in red is the projection for Medicare spending in the future from the 2010 report (after health care reform was passed. As you can see, starting in 2020 and projecting into the future, spending slows greatly.
Can you totally predict the future? No. Do we need to make even more cuts? Yes. But it’s hard to look at this and not think that at least it’s a start. I complain a lot that the PPACA doesn’t do enough to control costs, but this is more than I expected.
People can hate the PPACA, but it says – right up front – that it’s going to cut Medicare spending. And it does. You may remember that many politicians who opposed it liked to scream about how the cuts to Medicare were terrible. You can’t oppose any cuts to Medicare and then claim to care about the deficit. If we don’t find a way to slow Medicare spending, the deficit will continue to rise.
I’m curious if anyone who opposes the PPACA will at least admit that it’s doing this.