Tuesday, March 09, 2010

This time is different?

David Cutler knows much more about health economics than I ever have or ever will. He gives a thumbs-up to the Obama health plan in an op-ed in today's WSJ. He ends it this way:

My own calculations, mirrored by other observers and a host of business and provider groups, suggest that the reforms will save nearly $600 billion over the next decade and even more in the subsequent one.

Of course, no one knows precisely how much medical spending increases will moderate. But one cannot doubt the commitment to try. What is on the table is the most significant action on medical spending ever proposed in the United States. Should we really walk away from that?

But here is the Administration's report on $18.6 trillion of unfunded liabilities that were never planned or counted on.

What will be different this time?