Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Friday, December 28, 2007

Medicare at Risk

has an excellent article pointing out how both Medicare and Social Security are at risk due to escalating costs and poor management. Some key points in the article include:

Social Security is threatened both because it is underfunded and Congress refuses to act, and because of Medicare problems.

Social Security’s funding problems are big. Medicare’s funding problems are significantly bigger, threatening to overwhelm the entire federal budget if Congress fails to act.

Although separate, the Social Security and Medicare programs are actually intertwined. Seniors who receive Medicare must pay monthly premiums that are deducted from their monthly Social Security checks. Due to the runaway health care costs, Medicare premiums increase each year above the cost of living adjustments added to Social Security.

Out-of-pocket expenditures to cover Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays for parts B and D of Medicare will consume 29 percent of the average Social Security benefit check this year. A worker who is 30 today can expect premiums, deductibles and co-pays for parts B and D of Medicare to absorb about 50 percent of his initial Social Security benefit.

Without congressional action, out-of-pocket Medicare costs will exceed Social Security benefits for today’s newborns. At that point, Medicare will have eliminated Social Security.

Government auditors estimate fraud in the Medicare program adds up to billions of dollars annually. The Government Accountability Office lists Medicare as a “high-risk” program due to fraud and excessive costs.

With facts like this, why would we even consider government health insurance or Medicare for all? Yes, health care costs are exorbitant for everyone, but clearly, the government has prove for the past 40+ years can’t be trusted with either our money or our health care.

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1 comment(s):

We probably have some fundamental differences in views here, Pat. I just don't believe a program like Social Security is a failure just because projections (Based on what, exactly? Did the sources say? It makes all the difference!) say that it needs some tinkering after 40 years! Everything, everything, everything that has to do with money needs periodic review and adjustment.

Right now, doctors are overall the most highly paid professionals in the US, yet we don't seem to have the best healthcare in the world even though we are paying the most for it.

Taking government programs out of the picture would almost certainly leave the most vulnerable segments of our population without healthcare at all--while rewarding the most aggressive segments of our population. Except possibly for military operations, I really can't think of a more dangerous aspect of life and society to trust solely to the private sector than healthcare.

By Blogger Pete, at 9:23 AM  

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