All Sections

Home  Editorials

Insolvency: Ignoring the entitlement tidal wave

June 06. 2018 9:22PM

Medicare is three years closer to bankruptcy than it was just a year ago.

Social Security is running a deficit funded by nonexistent Congressional IOUs, and even those will run out in just 16 years.

The latest federal projections show that the entitlement tidal wave we know is on the way is close to shore.

Democrats want to pretend the fiscal crash isn’t happening. Republicans want to pretend that faster economic growth can make it go away. But Americans are living longer in retirement, putting inexorable demographic pressure on programs designed when we died younger.

Meanwhile, Medicaid and pension programs are taking up a record 20 percent of state and local budgets. New Hampshire is in better shape than most states, having taken steps to address the unfunded liability in the New Hampshire Retirement System. The state’s economy is producing record revenues.

But the broader demographic trends aren’t going away, especially as state taxpayers take up a greater share of the newly-expanded Medicaid program.

Candidates filing for office face limited options: cut spending, raise taxes, borrow, or continue to ignore the problem. Doing nothing will soon trigger drastic cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Voters should ask each and every candidate which path they would take if elected.

Health Politics Editorial

Newsletter Signup