Healthcare, a Minor Major Problem

More People Spending More Money
Leading and Lagging
Cost Controls
But What Happens if We Live Longer?
Energy Might Help Offset Your Taxes
Christmas, New Year’s, and Personal Healthcare Costs

Back in the Great Financial Crisis era, someone quipped that the federal government had become a giant hedge fund with an army attached. That wasn’t far off. Various agencies and entities were absorbing all kinds of risky assets to stabilize an overleveraged system. It was ugly but worked, more or less…. with a heavy dose of unintended consequences like the distortion of zero interest rates on the markets.

Today we could similarly say the federal government is a colossal pension fund with an army on the side (and now a space force too). But those forces are budgetary afterthoughts. The big money goes to support a fast-growing population of retirees, fulfilling promises made generations ago on the assumption they would be manageable. Whether it is truly manageable or careening out of control is proving questionable, at best.

Washington doesn’t just support the retired population’s living expenses. It also pays for their healthcare, a large and growing cost. Last month we talked about Social Security’s impact on the debt and some possible ways to reduce it. Today we’ll look at healthcare and the debt. As you’ll see, Medicare isn’t the only challenge.

More People Spending More Money

As everyone who participates in the US healthcare system knows (i.e., everyone), it is a vast and incomprehensibly complex web, with you as the patient often helpless in the middle. Reforming this morass is a larger discussion we should have at length, but today I’m looking specifically at the federal government’s financial role and how we can better control healthcare costs.