Entitlements Archives

February 14, 2008

Is It A Crisis Yet?

USA Today reports that spending on senior entitlements has risen 24% after adjusting for inflation since 2000. Despite no increase in the population percentage receiving benefits, the actual dollars spent on senior benefits in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security rose from $600 billion to $952 billion. Senior care has now become Job 1 of the federal government: The cost of government benefits for seniors soared to a record $27,289 per senior in 2007, according to a USA TODAY analysis. That's a 24% increase above the inflation rate since 2000. Medical costs are the biggest reason. Last year, for the first time, health care and nursing homes cost the government more than Social Security payments for seniors age 65 and older. The average Social Security benefit per senior in 2007 was $13,184. ... The federal government spent $952 billion in 2007 on elderly benefits, up from $601 billion in 2000. It's...