Sunday, December 20, 2009

Health Care Prize

Ben Nelson (D-NE) has famously sold out for a promise to Nebraska that the (you and me) would pick up the states Medicare bills, in light of the anticipated increase in Medicare costs resulting from the Health Control Bill. Initial commentary suggests that NE is paying out about $45M/yr to cover this at present.

The agreement extends to perpetuity.

NE has a population of about 1.7M, of which those over 65 are currently eligible for Medicare. Looking at age distributions:

It looks as though about 6.1% of the population are currently eligible. Under the new health bill, the eligibility age goes down to 50, which makes the eligible population jump to about 13.5%. Lessee, 13.5 divided by 6.1, times 45 M equals 99.5M.

In 3 years, Nelson will have equaled the bribe given to Mary Landreau (D-Big Easy). 4 other states have reportedly gotten similar deals, including Vermont, Florida, Louisiana, and Montana. Our wet-behind-the-ears Senators have gotten us nothing, so in addition to the upcoming state tax increase, we get to pay other states bills.

The above numbers suggest that Colorado, with a population of 5M needs about 132M to cover Medicare now, and will need an additional 160M shortly to cover the additional demand.

Say, Gov Romer, how's that budget coming?

Disclaimer: Size of Sen Nelsons bribe extracted from news reports, most of which agree. Population data is from U.S.Census dept, which is not yet a subsidiary of ACORN. Calculations were done on a TI calculator, and are guaranteed to be at least as good as measuring tree rings.

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