Letters to the Editor

Care compromise

August 25, 2012


To the editor:

President Bush tried privatizing Social Security, and the idea failed miserably. Citizens did not want their savings subjected to the vagaries of the market.

Now comes the Ryan-Romney Medicare proposal which would end Medicare as we know it, providing vouchers to enable Americans to buy insurance on the open market. That’s not working now, but the candidates persist in pursuing this scheme to allow private, for-profit firms to bid for voucher dollars.  The result will be ever-higher premiums as administrative costs are much higher than Medicare and VA government plans. As health care costs continue to escalate, more and more citizens will be unable to have insurance.

Also, nothing is said about preserving what we already have in the Affordable Care Act, coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventive health care visits, allowing children to be on their parents’ policies until age 26 and eliminating the doughnut hole in the prescription D policies which are costly to some seniors.

Hopefully each side will be able to compromise to preserve much-needed health care that we seniors enjoy in our present Medicare system. Let’s start with revisiting the Simpson-Bowle plan, rejected by both parties, which had the compromises necessary to preserve Medicare for future generations. It should be noted that, according to Bloomberg news writer Heidi Przybyla, Rep. Ryan played a key role in defeating this courageous bipartisan plan. We can’t afford such partisanship in the future.


Liberty_One 3 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to inform you of this, but Social Security and Medicare will not be around forever. The US will default on these promises because there isn't enough wealth in the entire world to pay for them. The fiscal gap measures the difference between projected future revenues and future expenditures. Right now the fiscal gap (or off-budget deficit) stands at $222 trillion. This is as calculated by the Congressional Budget Office in their long-term budget forecast. Even if the rich were taxed at 100 percent it would not be enough to close the gap.

The government will default on its promises. The only real questions are how and when it will happen.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 1 month ago

The U.S. government is not defaulting on its promises, it is defaulting on its loans. Fedgov borrowed money from the Social Security trust funds. Fedgov cannot afford to pay back the borrowed money and interest.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 1 month ago

Not so. The money was paid into the fund by workers with matching from employers. It was not income tax revenue.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

I guess you really are not the all seeing all knowing Maharaji. No wait...That is Rush Limbaugh. The money isn't exactly like an inheritance but in several cases the benefits of the father or mother pass on to children and if the child becomes disabled before age 22 and remains disabled, the benefits continue.

As for the separate accounts. What is payed in is a tax but there is separate accounts. As a matter of fact there were 3 such accounts that became known as the Social Security Trust Funds. They are now full of Government IOU's because they borrowed the money and those accounts were completely emptied by the mid to late 1970's.

BTW, LO. Just in case you think this post is for you, it isn't. It is for the benefit of others reading this thread.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

You didn't did like my comment a few days back on this subject partly because you were using future figures and you didn't seem to catch that I was using figures that represented the current debt amount. The future numbers are great to use if one is just fear mongering. The biggest weakness in using the future estimates and even throwing in off budget amounts to the current total debt is because of the unfunded mandates and programs. Inter Government borrowing to run unfunded mandates and programs along with failure to increase the FICA income ceiling amount is the primary reason Social Security and Medicare is failing. Even the Billions that have been paid into the US Treasury by the US Postal Service since 2006 is gone. It seems that no one who is in Congress or that has been in Congress the last several decades figured out or even cared that the Government IOU's were going to come due at some point.

There are ways to patch up Social Security and Medicare but those who have the power to do so will not do it. Neither privatizing or vouchers will fix it either and especially if there is no adjustment to the deductible or the patient responsibility amount. Having to pay 20 percent of a major long term illness would potentially break the bottom 80 percent or more of the population. At the very least leave them with nothing to live off of and many of the widows would be left with nothing.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Tax the top 1% who pay less than half the taxes I do. Money problem solved.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

The fact is that the ACA (Obamacare) is a compromise. Republicans just chose obstruction over taking an active part in that compromise as Obama and the Democrats included one Republican idea after another while the Republicans sat on their hands labeling all of their former ideas "marxist."

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

The ACA doesn't involve a government takeover of the health care industry, rockchalk1977. The insurance providers are still private companies. The health care providers are still private companies. This law falls short of a real fix for the excessive cost of health care, which afflicts the Medicare, Medicaid, and non-governmental sectors of the health care industry, but that is because fear-mongers (you have expressed their views, rockchalk1977) blocked more effective action. As Mitt Romney pointed out during his visit to Israel, heath care costs there are a lot lower, quality is high, and people are healthier than in the US. How did it happen? Because they adopted something like Romneycare in Massachusetts, which was the model for Obamacare but got partially blocked by Congress.
All this suggests that the ACA puts our country on the right track. And should Romney get elected president, perhaps he'll have the courage to revert to the policies he advocated as governor of Massachusetts.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

I like the system of roads, rockchalk1977. And the health and safety regulations. And the support for research. Despite the problems, public schools and especially public universities, which allow the child of parents who have limited financial resources to become leading contributors to our society. And our public safety units--police and firefighters. Not to mention our Constitution, which was formed out of (shock!) a governmental committee.
Government can do well with establishing an efficient, cost-effective, and satisfying health care system. It happened in Israel. It happened in Canada. It happened in New Zealand. It happened in Switzerland. Four successful models right there.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 1 month ago

16,000 IRS agents. Where did you find this information? I do not see the logic in your post. Too many disjointed concepts.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

I am afraid that even taxing churches wouldn't fix the problem but would help a lot. The churches should have lost their tax exempt status once they threw their hat into the political ring. I can hear their "we are being persecuted" cry already.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

Paying any attention to Rasmussen Polls or Reports is just as much of an ignorant waste of time as Fox News. You can get more out of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report than you can out of Fox News and they are just comedian entertainers.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

It's nice that he admitted getting his news from a comedian and a hack.

headdoctor 3 years, 1 month ago

I should have been more specific. The first few years Rasmussen existed they were much more unbiased than they are now. One of their problems is that many of their polls are skewed before they even start. I really do dislike Fox News. They are a joke and not even close. At the same time I have little use for any national news network.

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