Former Comptroller: O’Care ‘Not Going to Save Money’


DAVE WALKER: My bottom line is that no matter what the Supreme Court decides, we’re going to have to go back to the drawing board and rationalize our promises and start focusing on cost. As an example, the office—

JOE SCARBOROUGH:  Does this not focus on cost?

WALKER: Not adequately. It does do some things designed to try and control costs, but let me give you an example. The office of the chief actuary of Medicare, who’s a professional subject to professional standards, not a politician—estimates that the cost of this program to Medicare alone is $1.2 trillion higher than advertised by the politicians. $1.2 trillion.

SCARBOROUGH: But I thought this was going to save money.

WALKER: It’s not going to save money, because they were unrealistic and unsustainable assumptions, with regard to cost savings as well as premium support. That’s the basis of the chief actuary’s opinion. Look, we need universal health care in this country. But the question is, how much is appropriate, affordable, and sustainable? We need to focus on preventative wellness and catastrophic, give people options for more if they want. But we’ve historically overpromised and under-delivered, and this is just another example of that.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Are you against the concept?

WALKER: I’m not against the concept. But we have to be reasonable about what we can afford and sustain. I mean, for example, take our current system under Medicare.  We have two voluntary programs under Medicare, which provide universal opportunity, and for the two voluntary ones, part b and d, 95% of eligible participants get a 75% taxpayer subsidy irrespective of their income and wealth. That’s middle- and upper-income welfare—no wonder that system’s going bankrupt.