As critics warned, the Affordable Care Act will not "bend the cost curve downward" as promised. To the contrary, a June report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid predicts that national health spending through 2021 will continue to grow at a considerably faster clip than Gross Domestic Product.
That growth will not be even. Private health insurance spending will rise about 8 percent. Medicaid spending will grow about 20 percent. In a few years, government will account for 50 cents of every health care dollar spent in America. What's more, federal health care costs will consume a larger and larger share of the federal budget—and crowd out all other government functions in the process. If current trends continue, then by 2025 just four budget categories—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the debt—will gobble up every last federal dollar.
This, naturally, has alarmed many progressives. But don't worry—as always, writes A. Barton Hinkle, they have a plan.