Paul Krugman admits that Sarah Palin was right:
Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give…. …. We’re going to need more revenue…Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well.. We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax…And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits . So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.
Here’s the deal – we have to make some hard choices in the near future. We can offer everyone unlimited health care for life, but it will be very expensive. Or we can try to put some reasonable limits on coverage. The problem is defining “reasonable”.
Health care costs money. We can try to control costs, but we can’t make it free. We can let the poor go untreated or we can agree to cover the costs for the needy. We can pay for health care in premiums, or in taxes, or in cash. But we will still have to pay for it.
Socialized medicine and single payer spread the cost around based on ability to pay but they don’t necessarily control costs. To control costs we either have to limit how much we pay for services, limit what services we pay for, or both.
There are no magic solutions. Ronald Reagan said “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers.” In this case there are no simple answers either.