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It’s Time To End The Doc Fix Dance And Move On To Real Reform by Grace-Marie Turner

If Washington is ever going to tackle entitlement reform and get federal spending under control, it must start with Medicare.

The former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Holtz-Eakin, details Medicare’s fiscal plight:

Between 2001 and 2010, Medicare’s cumulative cash flow deficits totaled more than $1.5 trillion – or 28% of the total federal debt over the past decade.

But it gets worse:  By 2020, as Baby Boomers continue to age into Medicare at the rate of more than 10,000 a day, Medicare’s cumulative $6.2 trillion in cash flow deficits will constitute 35% of the nation’s total debt accumulation.

“Medicare is a fiscal nightmare that must change course,” Holtz-Eakin told Congress in testimony before the Senate Committee on Aging.  Without Medicare modernization, there is no hope of getting the federal fisc under control.

But Washington is playing a shell game with Medicare that disserves taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries by trying to hide the real costs of the program behind Congress’ fake promises.

The shell game started with the Balanced Budget Agreement of 1997…. continued