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Entitlements, nothing hard about it

Social Security- roll eligilitiy back 2 monts for every year of age, i.e., a 56 year old won't be eligible until 68.

 

Medicare- means test it. Sliding scale based on income and assets. Only very wealthy pay 100% premium.

 

Not hard.

 

The hard thing is to figure out how to slow the growth of health care costs which is breaking the defense budget, business competitveness and the budgets of states and localities.

37 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

Just a suggestion nox but instead of a means test for medicare, which would create a  beauocracy and additional cost and many would find a loop hole to get around the test, why not just tax the rich higher than the poor. Simple and uses the same system that already exists.

 

And yes the rising cost of care for so many procedures and tests is at the root of the problem.

The problem is how much it costs to keep a person alive for those last few months and often with a very poor quality of life.

There comes a time when nature should be allowed to take its course.

Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

When something is free people don't look at, and most times don't even see the bill. If the patients is responsible for a portion of the bill it helps to keep cost down more than anything the government can do, except for the long lines of rationing. The reason socialism always fails is because the rich run finally out of money.

 

snip-

Next month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to release figures for 2009, but according to people who have seen the numbers, the practice of double scanning chest patients has continued.

“When I saw the 2009 numbers, they were the same essentially, and I was disquieted by that,” said Dr. Michael J. Pentecost, a radiologist and Medicare consultant who also reviews claims for commercial clients.

The overuse of scans has been the subject of growing concern in recent years, but a review of the federal data, focusing on a common procedure performed millions of times a year, offers a rare and detailed snapshot of the problem state by state, hospital by hospital.

In 2008, about 75,000 patients received double scans, one using iodine contrast to check blood flow, and one that did not. “If you do both, you bill for both,” Dr. Pentecost said.

Radiologists say one scan or the other is needed depending on the patient’s condition, but rarely both. Double scanning is also common among privately insured patients who tend to be younger

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/health/18radiation.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

Means testing and higher taxation for the rich are the same thing.
Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

If it happens in an alley it is called robbery. If it happens in government it is called compassion.

Senior Contributor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

The problem is how much it costs to keep a person alive for those last few months and often with a very poor quality of life.

There comes a time when nature should be allowed to take its course.

 

 

Be careful what you say Canuck.   I touched on that very subject before and was accused of being uncompassionate.   The fact is a very large part of our health care dollars are spent on the last week or month of elderly people's lives as faimlies and doctors try to prolong their lives for another day or week.  Many times these people have little quality of life left or even know what is going on but it is just hard for folks not to do everything they can for their loved ones.  This is why it is important for everyone to make a living will.

 

 

I also think many people need to rethink their fear of death which is where we are headed eventually.   I am sure not in any hurry to die but when I am old and death is nearing I hope not be afraid or worried about what comes next.   I am not a big believer of a heaven where all true believers will some day be reunited with friends and family nor am I big believer in reincarnation.   However I do know there are many questions I have that will never be answered in my time here on earth.   Even though the chances are slim I have to hope that maybe after death we can learn the answers to many of life's mysteries.   An old college classmate used to say the human body is energy and you can not destroy energy as energy will simply transform itself into another form of energy. 

 

 

I told the wife many years ago that when I die not to bury me in an expensive box in the ground as I prefer to be cremated and to have my ashes spread over our family farm and or down by the creek that runs through the farm.   I would rather my ashes be recycled into new plants and animals then to have my body pumped full of chemicals and locked below ground in a box.

 

 

It would be interesting to learn how other cultures treat death as opposed to how our country does?   It seems that for modern western civilizations death is just one more big cash cow to harvested.  

 

 

Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

So you're saying that people that have paid the most in Fica taxes should not qualify for medicare benefits? So what would be their incentive for wanting to support the program? Wouldn't they merely petition congress to end the program?

 

I tell you how means testing works. We already have means testing in SS. SS taxes that is. After you make $109 K you need not pay additional SS taxes. Would that be nice if other taxes were treated that way. I'm sure a trucker paying road use tax would appreciate an exemption on the tax after 2000 gallons. Or a farm owner not having to pay property tax after he pays $5K in real estate taxes. Or a  $2000 limit in sales taxes.

 

Or if you have capital gains income, you don't pay SS taxes at all and your fed taxes are a measily 15%.

 

Single payer is the answer. Everybody pays and everyone benefits. Plus it costs us all less.

Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

Mr Kraft, as the program is set up now some one who pays FICA tax on 218K will get twice as much in benefits as some one who pays in on 109K. How will that help to make the program solvent for the long term.

Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

You're simply wrong. The biggest depositors do not get benefits porportional to what they pay in. Those that pay in less get a higher percentage of their deposits in benefits. Someonethat pays fica taxes on a $20 K income get a higher proportion of his comtributions in benefits than does some one with a $100K income.  In other words, the 100K earner does not get 5 times the benefit that a $20K earner gets.

 

My goodness I had a tough time figuring out how to word that.

Senior Advisor

Re: Entitlements, nothing hard about it

You make it sound like another welfare program. Those who have less are "entitled" to the earnings of those who have more.

 

Let me ask you Mr Kraft, do you think those debt burdened under privileged Greeks are entitled to a portion of your earnings?