Sure, there's an entitlement crisis looming, just not the one Bush wants us to obsess over. The World Health Care Congress is meeting in Washington, and one of the speakers today was CBO chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Reuters reports that the message he gave to health care industry bigwigs and mediumwigs was that Medicare, not Social Security, poses a looming fiscal crisis. Whaaa...?
Worse, he was so off-message that he might as well have been speaking Manx. He said that current efforts by HHS to lower health care costs and reduce the program's burden amounted to "baby steps." He also said that, well, let's listen:
There is not a single item -- technology, disease management and tort law reform -- that is the answer.
Tort reform isn't the answer? But that's the magic fairy dust that will cure everything from health costs to the current accounts deficit! Can't trust a nonpartisan economist to say the right things anymore, can you?
Oh, those darn facts are ever the more inconvenient!
Addendum: On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee holds hearings on Social Security and Holtz-Eakin will testify alongside SSA Chief Actuary Stephen Goss. This will be one to track.