Larry Kudlow, the economist and former adviser to President Ronald Reagan, said the economic agenda spearheaded by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will be a "disaster," if Medicaid is any guide.
“A government plan is not going to work. Medicaid, which is a disaster and has spiraled out of control and has expanded and expanded and expanded with no eligibility requirements anymore – that’s the perfect example,” Kudlow said on CNBC. “If you want a Democratic program that is going to be government-run, single payer – take a look at Medicaid, which has been a disaster.”
Kudlow on Monday directed his criticism toward Schumer's comments the day before.
"Week after week, month after month, we're going to roll out specific pieces here that are quite different than the Democratic Party you heard in the past," Schumer told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "Single payer is on the table."
A single payer system would make taxpayers the sole source of financing for universal healthcare, effectively expanding Medicaid to cover the entire population.
Several key Democrats have supported the concept of a single payer system, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In addition, Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders made single payer a primary focus of his 2016 presidential campaign.
"We're going to look at broader things," Schumer said. "Many things are on the table. Medicare for people above 55 is on the table. A buy into Medicare is on the table, buy into Medicaid is on the table. On the broader issues, we'll start examining them once we stabilize the system."
Medicare is the government-run health program for the elderly, while Medicaid is intended for low-income people.
Medicare spending was 15 percent of total federal spending last year, and is projected to rise to 17.5 percent by 2027. The Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2029, according to a July 18 report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicare per capita spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.5 percent over the next ten years, slightly lower than the growth rate for private insurance, according to the foundation.
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