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Entitlements

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Entitlements are government benefits provided by law to eligible individuals. Entitlements are typically for citizens only. In the US, major entitlements include the Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security programs. As the name implies, entitlements tend to become politically difficult to change, as recipients come to feel entitled to what they have been receiving. Without changes, entitlements expenditure is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Of all the entitlements, Medicare is expected to escalate in cost the most quickly, primarily due to the combined effects of anticipated rising health care costs and the expanding senior citizen population. Over the long term, without entitlements reform, taxes will have to be raised significantly, discretionary spending will have to be sharply reduced, or both.



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