Thursday, July 28, 2011

Historically High. No, Wait: Historically Low

Do you sometimes (often?) get the feeling that the rocket surgeons in DC have been inhaling again? Take, for example, two emails I received today, just hours apart.

The first one breathlessly exclaims:

"Healthcare spending to reach new heights ... will account for almost a fifth of the nation’s economy by 2020, with government making up almost half of it, Medicare’s actuaries project"

Oh noes, the sky is falling!

Maybe not, as the second one explains:

"Today, the CMS Office of the Actuary released its report on how much the United States spends on health care now and in the future. The report shows a 3.9 percent growth in health spending in 2010 – an historic low."

So which is it?

One possibility is that these actuaries are, in fact, delusional, and that they don't have a clue as to what's really going on, let alone what will happen down the road as ObamaCrap kicks into high gear. While I'm by no means unconvinced that this is the case, a more charitable conclusion is that both reports are accurate.

But how can that be?

Well, we all know the old saw about statistics, and how they can be made to tell whatever story one wishes to hear. So for those who think the sky is, in fact, falling, there's ample evidence that we should be running for cover. On the other hand, those with a more optimistic outlook have plenty to be cheerful about.

As for me, I think it's perfectly obvious where we're actually heading: an aging population, with the chronic and expensive claims that go with it, presages much higher costs; the implementation of ObamaCare© and it's intrinsic rationing will create even greater anguish.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Holly R]
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