There’s a sentence early on in Robert Samuelson’s column about Medicaid and the PPACA that he lets pass too quickly:
The further truth is that Medicaid also threatens to crowd out spending for many traditional state and local functions: schools, police, roads, libraries and more.
Since 1990 per capita spending by the government of the state of Illinois has grown at three times the rate of inflation. It has grown faster than incomes in the state by a substantial margin. It has grown faster than the state’s GDP. It has grown faster than the state’s revenues.
The two biggest line items in the state’s budget are Medicaid and public pensions. Both are growing fast, faster than we can afford. The state’s thirst for revenues is driving companies and people from the state at the highest rate of the fifty states.
If you wonder why I keep harping on healthcare costs as the most needed healthcare reform need, look no farther.
Contrary to some opinion, it is not true that healthcare costs have stopped rising. They are merely rising more slowly than they were before. They are rising, coincidentally, at just about three times the non-healthcare rate of inflation.