I posted two pretty cool charts yesterday. The first, “Projected Federal Spending on Health Care,” was created for me at healthinsurance.org by Barb Etzkorn. The projections come from the Congressional Budget Office’s extended alternative fiscal scenario.
This graph is important because it distinguishes programs too-often lumped together in the politics of federal budget policy. Medicare is on a truly scary fiscal trajectory, which tends to make the financing of other government health programs look scarier than they are.
Because of health reform, the federal government will support coverage for millions of new people this decade through Medicaid, CHIP, and the new health insurance exchanges. This will cause a noticeable bump between now and 2023. In the long-run, though, predicted spending on these programs will grow more slowly than spending on Medicare or spending on the privately insured.
Spending on these efforts is predicted to grow from about 3% of GDP in 2023 to about 4.5 percent in 2050. That’s an issue, but a much more manageable one than we face in Medicare. To the extent Medicaid really does have cost issues, these reside among the aged and the disabled, not among the millions of other low-income Americans likely to be the principal losers in Republican “repeal and replace” efforts. More here.
The second chart is by Yale economist Ebonya Washington. It shows voting scores of House members on an index developed by the National Organization of Women (NOW). Controlling for many confounding factors, members with a high proportion of daughters were markedly more likely to support access to contraceptive and abortion services than were similarly-situated peers with the same number of children but who happened to have a greater proportion of sons..
Apparently, there’s something about having a child who carries a uterus with her everywhere that concentrates legislators’ minds. Maybe some fathers ponder the possibility that a precious daughter might someday be left alone to bear crushing consequences, or simple humiliation, resulting from an unintended pregnancy.