From the e-pages of Slate comes a bit of clear thinking on what stuff is going to cost:
According to one proposal, for example, if health care savings don’t materialize in the coming years, automatic cuts in health care funding will kick in. Holtz-Eakin, not unreasonably, sees this as unlikely. Budget experts also worry that Congress will not reduce payments to providers as scheduled or follow through with planned Medicare cuts.
“There’s been discussion of taking behavioral economics into account when assessing health care reform,” says Marc Goldwein, policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “We also have to take into account behavioral politics. Political history teaches us that it’s unlikely that there will be nominal cuts.”
Behavioral politics? Now that’s an area which is just begging for at least a master’s program or two. The article deals in some detail with the money for seniors which is being doled out, while at the same time those seniors are not getting a cost of living adjustment (COLA) with their Social Security checks.
Providing help just as the COLA news is being announced seems too convenient to chalk up to mere coincidence, however. There’s always a rationale handy when political pressure is applied. In a tight spot, Congress finds a way around the law. That’s likely to be as true about health care in the future as it is about Social Security in the present.