Medicare Malady #19: Who Are We Kidding Here?

Report Health Care Reform

Medicare Malady #19: Who Are We Kidding Here?

August 6, 2003 1 min read Download Report
The Heritage Foundation

You don't have to be a Washington policy wonk to know something's wrong with some Medicare bills pending in Congress.

Rush Limbaugh thinks it's pretty obvious.

"We're talking about the biggest new entitlement program in 40 years, and it's not going to require tax increases to pay for it? Of course it is," the national talk radio host said during an Aug. 4 broadcast.

Limbaugh's talking about two separate bills, now being hammered into one by a Capitol Hill committee, that add prescription drugs as an entitlement to the Medicare program. During his broadcast, Limbaugh cited a Heritage Foundation research paper by researchers Brian Riedl and William Beach that shows adding prescription drugs as a Medicare entitlement will, among other things, cost $2 trillion by 2030-with increasing costs thereafter.

Limbaugh boldly added, "we don't need The Heritage Foundation to know this."

He's right. Although Heritage's Medicare research is top notch, common sense says any bill costing at least $400 billion over the next 10 years will mean higher taxes for you.

But higher taxes are just one problem of a Medicare drug entitlement. Read more about them at

For more information or to receive an e-mail version of "Medicare Maladies," contact or call Heritage Media Services at (202) 675-1761.


The Heritage Foundation