Members of Congress and, sadly, members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors seem to think in terms of a standard time horizon of about three days.
From the perspective of our government, “long-term financial planning” might involve buying milk that will expire four weeks from now, as opposed to next week. Or possibly building a truly enormous of what they call “savings” — enough cash on hand to, say, buy three lottery tickets a week from now.
The latest national health expenditures forecast put the short-term nature of our government’s thinking in ultraviolet neon lights with a prediction that the slowest-growing health care spending item in the projections will “noncommercial research.” Spending may have fallen 2.1 percent in 2013, to $47 billion. It might increase just 0.1 percent this year, then fall 1.7 percent in 2015. It’s supposed to increase a little in 2019 and 2023 but still be the slowest-growing item in those two years.
Putting the brakes on noncommercial medical research is a terrible thing to do to long-term care insurance (LTCI) issuers, their producers and their customers.
The Fed does what it can to strangle LTCI because, hey, who cares about the future. In the future we’ll all be dead.
The Obama administration does what it can to smother the private LTCI community because it made a fuss about the likelihood that the CLASS Act voluntary LTC benefits program would not work. Obama administration officials eventually recognized that the LTCI community was right, but their attitude still seems to be, “Who cares if the CLASS Act was doomed. Ted Kennedy was a great man, you lousy low lifes.”