Entitlement programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are costing the U.S. trillions of dollars, and this spending is adding to the national debt. In the Wall Street Journal [subscription required], Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) explained the necessity for Washington to reform these programs.
In a perfect world with “no more recessions, wars, terrorist attacks or natural catastrophes” where “interest costs on the national debt will be permanently held down by near-record low interest rates” and “certain ObamaCare price controls widely derided as unrealistic will continue forever,” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates entitlement programs will result in a $10 trillion debt over the next ten years, followed by $100 trillion over the following two decades, writes Portman.
While today's deficit is declining, it is temporary. It is crucial that entitlement programs be reformed as 77 million baby boomers will soon retire into Social Security and Medicare. This is "not a theoretical projection," Portman says, "Demography is destiny."
That means by 2030, two workers will fund each retiree unlike the five-to-one worker-to-retiree ratio in 1960. Add the projection of ObamaCare being the "single largest driver of rising health-care spending" according to the CBO, and the U.S. will be dealing with crushing debt.
Portman points out that reforming entitlements along with "supporting broad-based, patient-centered health care can not only help close the debt, it can also create a stronger economy.”
However, "The longer we wait to enact reforms, the more abrupt and painful they will be," the Senator warns.
A few months ago, Senator Marco Rubio raised the profile of entitlement reform. Senator Portman also deserves applauds for his work on this important issue.
Learn more about the consequences of current entitlements spending on America's future generations by reading "10 Truths About America's Entitlement Programs."