NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 7, 2008

Recent remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that healthcare spending will continue to be the largest component of overall consumer spending -- and is expected to keep rising -- are being cited by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) as proof that the national healthcare situation will soon be unsustainable.

The think tank also believes that the political solution of "universal healthcare," embraced by some presidential candidates, will not necessarily ease that problem.

According to Devon Herrick, a senior fellow and health economist with the NCPA:

  • Medical spending and price increases are rising exponentially more than national income or the rate of inflation.
  • Most notably, the reform proposals of Sens. Obama (D-Ill.) and Clinton (D-N.Y.) would only aggravate the issues.

"Senator Obama's plan would not really change the path we're on.  It would merely put more people into coverage," adds Herrick.

By contrast, says Herrick:

  • Sen. McCain's (R-Ariz.) plan is the most radical, and would actually change the tax subsidy for health insurance, by equalizing it.
  • McCain's plan would give everyone a uniform tax credit of $2,500 per individual or $5,000 per family, regardless of whether you got your coverage through work or individually.

Many of the proposals are trying to achieve universal coverage by making health care more affordable, but they would actually drive up the cost by increasing mandates and regulations on insurances, explains Herrick.  Indeed, both plans by Sens. Clinton and Obama would require more bureaucracy and government oversight.

Source: Ed Thomas, "America's Health Care System To Soon Be Unsustainable,", July 5, 2008.

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