Department of Uh-Oh, or mandates don’t stay modest

The idea is to create long-term care insurance that would be available
to anyone, including those who are already disabled. People would be
automatically enrolled, unless they chose to opt out, and would pay a
premium in exchange for the opportunity to receive cash benefits to
cover the cost of home care, adult day programs, assisted living or
nursing homes after they had been enrolled for at least five years.
Premiums and benefit levels would be set by federal health officials,
but advocates predict that the program would provide beneficiaries with
a minimal sum, around $75 a day.

The proposal has gained momentum in recent days as Democrats in both
the House and Senate cast about for cash to help finance a final health
package. Because the program would begin taking in premiums immediately
but would not start paying benefits until 2016, congressional budget
analysts have forecast that it would generate a nearly $60 billion
surplus over the next 10 years, cash that would help the larger
measure's balance on paper.

Here is the full story.  Now reread that last sentence and ask yourself how many different ways there are to do this and whether all of them will fail to pass.

Comments

Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me, but I guess the government is allowed to do that (social security).

Thank goodness all the really smart and clever people in America (Ds and Rs!) are concentrated in Washington, DC, looking out for all of our best interests. And being careful not to saddle future generations with too many of our own obligations.

Yeah! Huzzah! Heaven on earth!

Thank goodness for immigrants and children of immigrants and children of red-staters!

Thank goodness for good ole American exceptionalism, where the laws of gravity and economics don't apply, because we are so wealthy and entrepreneurial, not like all those other countries filled with lazy dummies who must borrow from the pesky Asians.

We can never have too much government. Because we can afford it! And because we have so many smart and clever people looking out for us!

Yeah! Huzzah! Heaven on earth!

Oh, how about iPhones for all!

Yeah! Huzzah! Heaven on earth!

Unfortunately, for the taxpayer, the alternative to long term care insurance for the person who has not saved is medicaid. You pay for it one way or the other, and encouraging people to pay for themselves is better than the default option of no one paying and going on medicaid.

But do those savings outweigh the added expense of people who would have saved, but who now get subsidized? Even the claim about the uninsured using hospital rooms costing taxpayers significant money is somewhat exaggerated (though it still has some net cost, the cost is no more than 2.2% of all expenditures, and if they were covered under Medicaid it would still cost.)

In order to have more money 7 years from now, I have decided to stop eating until 2016. My only other option was to stop watching TV like Tyler.

I like this as a vision. Vision does arise from the interstices of tragedy. One big problem is obvious, though†¦ the International Brigades in Spain were approved by the Republican government. I doubt that Karzai or his fellows see freedom fighting as a suitable role for many women in their domains. The U.S. never has had any intention of promoting such things, either.

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