Will Bail Outs and Stimulus Packages Impact Future Health Benefits and Coverage?
In discussions of the impact of the stimulus bill and related bailout measures before Congress, for the most part, the public hears inexact expressions such as "mortgaging our future" and "putting a financial burden on our grandchildren." But are there more direct impacts the public should be considering from the astronomical levels of spending and borrowing currently being contemplated?
A Government Accounting Office 2007 Financial Report of the U.S. Government indicated that in about 2030 to 2040 our federal government revenues would not be sufficient to pay already enacted nondiscretionary items like Social Security, net interest payments, Medicaid and Medicare. The growing costs of entitlements are bringing that date closer. Interest payments on past and future borrowing for bailout and stimulus packages could bring the date closer still.
Although there are some measures and plans to reign in health care and entitlement costs, will these measures compensate for the higher interest costs that the US will pay? Will we reach a point when medical coverage and benefits will need to be severely cut because of financial decisions we are making today? If so, how can we prudently balance today's spending and borrowing with possible impacts on future health coverage and Social Security benefits?
Moderator: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Editor, Pajamas Media
Joe Wurzelbacher (a.k.a. Joe the Plumber), PJTV - Opening Comments, Questions from Public
Andrew Roth, Vice President for Government Affairs, Club for Growth
Brian Riedl, Senior Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation
Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, CATO Institute
Health Care Panel
Jim Capretta , fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC)
Andy Chasin, Health Policy Counsel, Senate Republican Policy Committee
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, columnist, RealClearMarkets.com