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Spend Your Own Money for a Change

Here’s my offer to bet Peter Orszag and/or Nancy-Ann DeParle real money that Obamacare will in the future cost Uncle Sam substantially more, in real terms, than the Obama administration now estimates those costs will be.  Here’s the heart:

So I [Don Boudreaux] challenge you [Mr. Orszag and/or Ms. DeParle] to put your money where your words are. Let’s make a real bet.

Pick any year in the future between 2021 and 2046. Tell me your estimate today of how much Uncle Sam will spend on health care that year. I’ll bet each of you $5,000 that Uncle Sam’s actual expenditures on health care in that year — adjusted for inflation — will be at least 25 percent higher than your estimate.

If Uncle Sam’s health care expenditures in that year are less than 25 percent higher than you project them to be, I’ll congratulate you as I mail you your checks. If those expenditures are 25 percent higher than you project them to be — or more — I’ll contribute my winnings to a private health-care charity, as I predict that the need for philanthropic contributions along those lines will be great.

Do we have a bet?