"Entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the biggest driver of our national debt. They are already 60 percent of federal spending and that number is only going up. For far too long, the President and Congress have been intent to kick the can further down the road. Entitlement spending must be addressed before it sinks our national budget. Doing nothing is not an option." (emphasis added)
Senator Hatch is exactly right, but the inconvenient truth is he has been a major player in not only "kick[ing] the can down the road" but adding more unfunded liabilities to an already unsustainable program. He was one of the biggest advocates of the Medicare Part D legislation which passed through the Republican controlled Congress in 2003. Senator Hatch fought for the legislation and voted for its passage. Later, responding to criticism of the unfunded legislation Hatch said, "it was standard practice not to pay for things," and defended his vote by saying it "has done a lot of good."
- Projected net expenditures from 2009-2018 is $727 BILLION.
- The net present value (NPV) of future medicare part D expenditures is $20.3 TRILLION. Yes, that's trillion with a T.
- That puts the NPV of future Medicare Part D expenditures at a whopping 1.5% of the NPV of future GDP! As a comparison, the entire United States agriculture sector is only 1.1% of GDP.
There's more to Senator Orrin Hatch's Medicare mess. Click here for part 2 of the series.