Some conservatives cry “disaster” over falling fertility rates — a sneaky way to continue their attacks on Social Security and Medicare.
Medicare savings should be easy to find. We could learn something from Canada.
David Brooks gets it wrong on both facts and ethics in his column supporting the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan.
Let’s start with one of his facts:
According to the Urban Institute, the average couple in 2010 had paid $109,000 in Medicare taxes during their working years but would be able to receive about $343,000 in benefits.
Nothing wrong with the number, nor even his conclusion that the gap between the two numbers is worrisome. But he leaves out two important factors. One is the amount that Medicare beneficiaries pay in supplemental insurance and copays.
He also ignores the Medicare payroll taxes paid by those who don’t live long enough to retire and collect benefits. (Medicare is insurance, after all, not an investment.) The statistic he cites is for the average couple that retires in 2010.
Furthermore, the $343,000 number is not what the average couple “would be able to receive” but what they would expect to receive on average. If their medical costs are very high, they could get more. But again, if they die at age 54, they would get nothing. I covered this territory in a previous column, using the same source but 2020 as the starting year.
Brooks’ raises a debatable question of ethics. He asserts that the “gap” number
should weigh on the conscience of every American over 55. You’re supposed to help your grandkids, not take from them.
Spoken like a true heir. The average retiree is not putting his granddaughter through medical school. Outside of select zip codes, few elderly have that kind of money.
Medicare was created because many older Americans were going without medical attention for lack of funds. In any case, today’s 56-year-olds paid taxes to help their grandparents, and now their grandchildren will help them.
Yes, Medicare spending must be curbed, but I still like the notion of younger people helping older people. Frankly, it would weigh on my conscience to think otherwise.
How to make the numbers work for the Romney/Ryan plan to have private insurers take over Medicare. Kidding, but only half-kidding:
How many times do we have to say this? Social Security is not welfare. It is an earned benefit, an independent program that has no business landing in the Simpson-Bowles operating room.
As the Supreme Court discusses whether the federal government can force Americans to obtain health coverage (I say “yes), let’s look at examples of obvious waste in spending.
Both parties are using these programs to advance outside agendas. Leave them alone.
Obama negotiated that which should be non-negotiable: the full faith and credit of the United States. Democrats need a new candidate for president.
Interesting how the Republicans’ strategy to sell their radical makeover of Medicare resembled a protection racket. In essence, they told older voters that if they supported their plan, their benefits would be protected and only those 55 and younger would get whacked.