The reasonable solutions are to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, and pattern U.S. health care after other national systems that better contain costs.
The Germans and Dutch spend one-third less on health care, because their governments more aggressively regulate prices, better ration care, and spend less on lawsuits.
Democrats, hamstrung by unions, are loath to require Americans to work longer, and are too beholding to tort lawyers and the medical establishment for campaign support.
Republicans refuse to admit vouchers and more competition -- we already have plenty of the latter among providers, drug and device manufacturers, and insurance companies -- won't adequately slow rocketing costs.
Without significantly raising the retirement age, more effective price controls and rationing in health care, and torts reform, federal spending and the national debt will jet into the stratosphere -- no matter what the president and Congress agree to in their current negotiations.
Mounting interest payments will cause investors to balk at buying U.S. Treasuries, and draconian reductions in federal spending that must follow will thrust the U.S. into the kind of crisis now gripping Greece and Spain.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.