Via the Washington Examiner comes a report that helps explain why the country is already broke and going broker. The vice-president
"Everyone knows, everyone in this room knows that President Obama has increased the benefits available to people on Medicare by the action he took," Biden said. "You are now able to go get a wellness exam, and guys, if you conclude you need a colonoscopy because of the feeling you had or you need a breast health examination, you don't have to pay a co-pay for that."
You got that? Feelings first when it comes to medical procedures. And regardless of your ability to pay, taxpayers will cover the procedure.
I think people should be able to order up whatever medical procedures they want to, as long as they're willing to pay for them. I think that we should reduce barriers to entry for health care providers so that colonscopies, breast exams, blood tests, you name it are cheaper and easier to get, with or without a doctor's recommendation or prescription or whatever.
But when you start promising free tests based on a patient's "feeling," that way national bankruptcy lies.
Biden's pandering to Medicare beneficiaries and retirees is arguably his greatest asset to the Obama campaign/administration. As Veronique de Rugy and I noted in our story in the August-September issue of Reason, "Generational Warfare," Biden rarely misses a chance to alternately scare seniors that Republicans will spike their retirement benefits and offer them even more free or reduced-price money.
Hat Tip: Commenter Fish.
Make no mistake about it: Medicare is one of the very biggest reasons why the government is broke and getting broker. Between 1975 and 2011, the number of Medicare enrolles doubled and the cost per enrolled quintupled in real dollars, to over $11,000. The scariest part? We ain't seen nothing yet, as the chart to the right suggests.
Bonus video: Joe Biden, Real Man of Political Genius.