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Success worthy of praise

A few days ago, “Modern Healthcare” reported that the Medicare trustees and the Congressional Budget Office now have significantly lower estimates of federal costs for health care. “Why aren’t the deficit hawks cheering?” asks MH writer Merrill Goozner. “Can it only have been four years ago (before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund was projected to exhaust its assets by 2016?”

Now, Goozner reports, the life of the trust fund – a savings account created back when Medicare payroll taxes for hospital costs exceeded expenditures that has been raided regularly as costs went up in the years before Obamacare’s passage – has been extended to 2030. Medicare and Medicaid costs also are rising much more slowly.

Why, indeed, is it so hard for critics to admit that Obamacare looks as if it is working?