Troy Loney wrote:Once you enact entitlements it's almost impossible to take them away.
I heard a proposal to raise the SS age to 67, this helps to sustain Social Security, which isn't really the problem, because SS can easily be extended with just some slight adjustemts like raising the age and raising the 100K cut off a little. Medicaire is unsustainable, just like everyting a bout our bloated healthcare system. We just need to switch to a single payer system, remove the employee based healthcare. Get it under the government, the current heathcare platform doesn't work with an aging demographic.
When Social Security was enacted, the actuarial calculations plotted a certain amount of growth over time that was to be expected (in terms of the number of beneficiaries actually being paid). What they did not - and really could
not - calculate was the massive increase in life expectancy since the program's passage. When first enacted, the age to collect a SocSec benefit was actually about two years older than the average life expectancy in the U.S., which meant there was a tiny population of people who would actually collect. But now, life expectancy is well into the eighth decade..... which means people are eligible to collect - on average - for about 14 or 15 years now.
That's simply not a sustainable structure.
The problems with Medicare are more closely tied to the costs of healthcare, not any structural deficiencies inherent to the program.
ExPatriatePen wrote:As far as single payer, I've never seen the costs of ANYTHING go down when the government is paying the bill. It just doesn't happen.
And yet the U.S. - almost alone in the developed world with a non-public healthcare system - spends more money (by a significant factor) than nations with proper government-run healthcare systems, and achieves nowhere near the level of outcomes.
Something like 5% of the population accounts for roughly half the total healthcare expenditures in this country, while half the population accounts for something like 4% of healthcare spending. And by having healthcare linked to your job, you open up coverage gaps for people in transitional phases of their careers (or jobless) and you put American companies at sometimes crippling competitive disadvantages.
Your argument is putting philosophy ('government bad!') in front of observable facts (single payer systems the world over do a better job of controlling costs). The administrative overhead of the roughly 100 or so private insurance companies in this country runs at around 30% - a little more than $300 billion annually - and much of that (if not most) comes from the way claims are reviewed and, preferably, denied. That same cost for Medicare? Under 3%.
Based on fact and not philosophy, the objective arguments against a single-payer system are not all that strong. And that's before you even get into the morality questions raised by profiteering off the sick and infirm (or, more accurately, not paying for sick people's healthcare after years of paying into the pool).