The Feds Are Out of Money: Healthcare Is Their New Bank

by Dr. Jane Orient

It is mentioned, almost in passing, that the “healthcare reform” on the verge of becoming law starts collecting premiums and taxes immediately, and promises benefits only in about four years.

What kind of emergency is that?

It’s not a healthcare emergency. It’s what might be called a Madoff emergency.

Whether starry-eyed utopians or cynical malefactors, the unnamed, possibly unnameable they have high ambitions for Washington to achieve their objectives. The stars are aligned for their coup d’etat, but there is one little problem: the country is out of money.

This problem threatens to stop not only their agenda, but the whole game. Washington has 2 million employees on the payroll, earning on average twice as much as those in the private sector. And probably more than a hundred million dependents—recipients of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and grants and subsidies of all types. What happens if the checks stop coming?

David Brooks spilled a key insight in the New York Times: he noted that health care has become the “bank” out of which President Obama plans to fund the bulk of his agenda. “By squeezing inefficiencies out of the health care system, he could have his New Deal and also restore the nation to long-term fiscal balance.”

Dr. Orient’s article continues at

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