Forbes, November 2, 2011

The Super Committee has until November 23 to come up with a way to reduce the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Medicare is expected to bear about $400 billion of cuts to reach that target. It's a few whiskers shy of a 10% annual haircut. The health insurance program for the elderly hasn't been trimmed so short since the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The BBA cut $112 billion in total Medicare spending over four years, without any measurable negative impact on public health. Still, expect the Committee to get a lot of grief. What "Mediscare" critics fail to recognize is that fiscal austerity has been a blessing for the program in the past.

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