The Debt and Health Care Reform

By Dschabner

Aug 12, 2009 11:13pm

The federal deficit increased by $180 billion in July alone.

Rising to a record $1.27 trillion already, the deficit is heading towards $2 trillion by the end of the fiscal year.

The current total U.S. national debt is $11,666,485,985,008.

Your share is $37,982.

Increasingly, citizens at town hall meetings are expressing concern over the government’s ability to pay for health care reform without adding to the deficit.

We took a look at this tonight on "World News with Charles Gibson":

“The initial cost is over a trillion dollars for a down payment. Who is going to pay for this bill?” a woman shouted at Sen. Arlen Specter at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania yesterday. “My children and my grandchildren are going to pay for this bill.”

Supporters of the president's health care reform push point out that spiraling health care costs in Medicare and Medicaid are a huge part of the deficit problem, and reform is necessary to tackle the issue.

“Health care reform that brings down the growth rate of health care costs will help our children and grandchildren in affording health care and having less debt,” Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said today at a town hall in Hagerstown, Md.

But skeptics say Congress so far has avoided making tough decisions over how to foot the bill.

“From what we’re seeing so far, it doesn’t look like they’re tackling the real cost drivers of health care. And that means if they don’t do it, it will make the deficit situation worse,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition.

“One of the things I worry about is whether Congress is up to making hard choices that would bring health care costs under control. It’s not going to be easy to do and Congress likes to take the path of least resistance,” Bixby added.

President Obama has attempted to address citizens’ concerns.

“First of all, I said I won’t sign a bill that adds to the deficit or the national debt. OK? So this will have to paid for,” he said on Wednesday during a health care forum in Portsmouth, N.H.

-jpt

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