CARTER And HALL: The Quiet Epidemic

More than 127,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, but just as many, and likely more, will die this year from Alzheimer’s dementia. Long after we have a vaccine for COVID-19, millions of Americans will continue to be afflicted by Alzheimer’s. This will have tragic consequences, not just for the afflicted, but for the entire country.

Allow us to explain.

The federal budget is on an unsustainable path. Federal spending far exceeds tax revenues and apparently will for decades into the future. This doesn’t mean an immediate budgetary crisis, but it does mean that we are knowingly “gifting” future generations with an unprecedented burden of government debt. The accumulated debt is heading towards 180% of GDP or nearly 10 times annual federal revenue in 2050. Front and center of this tremendous growth in federal spending is health care. In fact, all (100%) of the projected increase in noninterest federal spending will be from cost of major health care programs. And that was before the $5.7 trillion cost (FY2020-30) of the global pandemic and the associated worldwide recession.

The problem with health care spending is well known but not well understood. The U.S. annually spends well over $10,000 per person on healthcare –

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