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  To Cut The Debt, The GOP Should Focus On Health Care Costs
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ContributorRP 
Last EditedRP  Jan 11, 2018 12:00pm
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CategoryAnalysis
AuthorEvan Horowitz
News DateThursday, January 11, 2018 05:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionEnergized by the successful passage of tax cuts, some Republicans are eying a new target: entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. House Speaker Paul Ryan is leading the charge, arguing that the only way to break the cycle of rising deficits and surging debt is to reduce entitlement spending.

Political resistance is likely to be fierce, not only because these programs are massively popular, but also because President Trump opposed any such cuts during his campaign. Even if the political hurdles can be cleared, though, the bigger problem is that this push for entitlement reform attacks the wrong target.

There is no wide-reaching entitlement funding crisis, no deep-rooted connection between runaway debts and the broad suite of pension and social welfare programs that usually get called entitlements. The problem is linked to entitlements, but it’s much narrower: If the U.S. budget collapses after hemorrhaging too much red ink, the main culprit will be rising health care costs.
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