John Buntin is a GOVERNING staff writer. He covers health care, public safety and urban affairs.E-mail: email@example.com
That, basically, is the question taken up by health economists Michael Chernew and Katherine Baicker and Dr. John Hsu in their latest New England Journal of Medicine article, "The Specter of Financial Armageddon -- Health Care and the Federal Debt in the United States."
So how do our prospects look?First, the bad news. In 2009, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was 53 percent. Not great but not horrible either, as the chart below shows. The European Union sets a maximum target-to-debt goal of about 60 percent; however, some researchers believe advanced economies can approach 90 percent debt levels without adverse consequences.
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