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Give tight scrutiny to assumptions about economic growth and cost savings.
Is anyone else confused by this article? After dire warnings about the unsustainability of entitlements [the 'trust fund perspective' "falsely claims that Social Security and Medicare" to which the retiring generation of workers contributed a surplus of between $2.3 and $2.7 "are solvent"] and after calling for economic growth to be boosted (with zero suggestions for how to boost growth), Bryan Lawrence concludes by urging the US to deliver universal health care.
Mr. Lawrence refers to "universal health care" being cheaper and better in just about every other western country. We don't have it. The ACA doesn't provide it because the health industry won't tolerate such impudence from Congress. $500 pills paid for by Medicare? The Federal government is not allowed to negotiate discounts with drug companies because the pharmaceutical industry won't allow Congress to pass such a law. When will things change? When Congress is no longer controlled by corporations.
With the clear thinking like that of the article, we'll have problem solved in the next 1500 years, no sweat...
"The Federal government is not allowed to negotiate discounts with drug companies because the pharmaceutical industry won't allow Congress to pass such a law."... You have it kind of backwards - Congress did pass a bill allowing Medicare to negotiate... and then next session, a bill preventing Medicare from negotiating pharmaceuticals was passed and signed by Bush... even more egregious. (And the voters put the people who did it back in office on their platform of Medicare being in trouble from overspending and needing to be fixed by fiscal responsibility - it's what American voters want.)
The article seems to make clear that the way out for us is to go to universal, single payer health care in America, with costs controlled by the government somewhat by reigning in outrageously high costs of pharmaceuticals, unnecessary tests, some exorbitant doc salaries and of course, by eliminating the worthless insurance companies. The only fear I have in all this is that some beneficiaries will demand more than what is reasonable to expect. Medicine can't prolong your life forever, or be expected to. And no one really should be making or expecting too big a salary trying.
Why do they keep calling Social Security and Medicare an entitlement as though it were a gift. I have paid into social security since 1961 and medicare since its inception. I paid for it, it is not a gift it is mine. The government borrowed over the years 2.7 trillion dollars and hasn't paid it back. People lost there houses because they didn't pay back a loan. The government needs to pay this back with interest. 15% of the national debt is owed to social security.
Typical non sense written by left.Set funds into own separeate account to prevent the mental midgets in Congress from spending money on pork or other riduculous items.
The ACA is by no means perfect, but it is a good start by doing away with pre-condition clauses, allowing dependents up to age 26 to be on a family insurance Plan, and forcing Health Insurance providers to spend 85% or more of their revenue on providing care, and not on administration expenses such as junkets for their sales people or high executive salaries. However, all of that is just treatment of symptoms. Health care in America will not improve until we remove the link between health care and employment, and payment is based on outcome rather than procedures. The truth about entitlements is that insurance and pharmaceutical companies exploit the inefficiencies in our pay for procedure, pay for drugs system. They want to keep it that way, so they spend whatever it takes to keep congress from taking meaning action to change how health insurance and medical care is regulated. Congress has put itself in a paradox between supporting their patron's interests, and dealing with the debt & deficit. The house Republicans need to wake up and realize that they have to stop kowtowing to the insurance and pharma industries in order to achieve their stated goal of fiscal responsibility. They can't do both.
Sensible people have known this for decades. In fact, one of the things said about Social Security as its creation was debated was that it would lead to the financial destruction of the United States. When Social Security first started, its tax rates were LOW, so low few would complain (capped at $30 per year which in today's dollars would be about $450 per year). Right now, the combined tax rate for Social Security and Medicare is 15.3%. The employer pays half, but the employee actually pays it through a reduced wage and self-employed individuals pay the whole thing up to $107,000 of income, which the Democratic Party wants to remove the limit to make all income subject to 15.3% SS and Medicare taxes. That's over 1/7th of your earnings stolen from you right off the top. Then you have to pay your federal income taxes, state income taxes. If you are self-employed, just about half your income is stolen from you on the low end. What kind of country can succeed when half of the hours people work are stolen from them by the Democratic Party so their earnings can be GIVEN to others to buy votes? The only kind of country that can survive is a welfare state, and we can see how welfare states all over Europe are going bankrupt. And with Obama on his spending spree, with 40% of all government spending being borrowed, the current tax rates we pay do NOT COME CLOSE to paying for all that Democrat spending. The United States is doomed. Destroyed by the Democratic Party. As was predicted 80 years ago.
"Why do they keep calling Social Security and Medicare an entitlement...?" .. I hope this comparison clears it up -- If you and your matching employer pay into a 401K for 40 years, you are entitled to the money plus earnings from interest, etc. when you retire, and you will get back based on what was paid in plus earnings; and the financial institution holding your account will give money to their bank to write checks to you monthly - or go to jail... that is an entitlement because you are entitled to your money and they go to jail if they don;t do it... Now, if you and your matching employer pay into Social Security Insurance Administration in your name for 40 years, you are not entitled to the money plus earnings from interest, etc. when you retire, even though you will only get back based on what was paid in plus earnings; Social Security holding your account will give money to the US Treasury to write checks to you monthly... that is an entitlement because you are NOT entitled to the money..... Best as I can tell - according the the GOP reformers, the difference is that the US government (who does not run Social Security, BTW) - only promised to keep Social Security, and government promises have to be changed when government overspends and finds itself in need of debt forgiveness... Looking at it another way - You are entitled to get your money back from a 401k, but it is a welfare entitlement to get your money back from Social Security... (See how easy it is to turn around and take other people's money by claiming that that other person taking their own money is actually taking money that they didn't put in?... Yup - and it works - Millions of people believe it.)
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