Monday, August 27, 2012

What of Medicare and Social Security?

What becomes of Medicare?

My plan for health care is Medicare for all (a.k.a., Single Payer Health Care) because it eliminates the for profit insurance companies from the health care loop. This is important because the primary concern of a profitable insurance company is growing profitability, not caring for the customers. Medicare has been very efficient at providing for services to seniors, because service is its primary reason to exist. I will propose extending that kind of service to everybody.

Keeping Medicare a program for seniors only, and privatizing it, is bad policy because seniors are prone to becoming increasingly expensive customers; not the people a profitable company can afford to serve. My wife and I both have, “pre-existing conditions,” so we peg the expense meter on insurance companies' actuarial charts. We are far from alone.  Many folks (young, old and in between) have one condition or another making them all expensive to insure, so privatizing (giving Medicare to for profit insurance companies) does not register as a good idea with my campaign.

What about Social Security?

Social security will come under tremendous fiscal pressure as my generation (74 million Baby Boomers) retire. That was actually anticipated in the Reagan administration; payroll tax rates were increased and more money than needed was collected. The excess money was not put into a safe place and was instead borrowed by the legislature, special treasury notes (the Congressional Budget Office refers to them as, "permission to spend money") were issued.

Some have said that the solution is to privatize (give to for profit companies) the entire Social Security program; how much of the, "permission to spend," would be paid out is never mentioned. Private companies would supposedly invest the money in the market and pay out from the returns on said investments. Individual savings and 401k monies are already invested in said markets, and o'er the last 30 years have grown and shrunk in a recurring series of economic cycles that cause a roller coaster to pale by comparison. I don't think putting Social Security funds on that same private ride is anything but a really bad idea.

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