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Medicare is Bad Medicine for Young America (Paul Ryan is the champion of Young America)
American Thinker ^ | 06/07/2011 | Brenton Stransky

Posted on 06/07/2011 9:46:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Paul Ryan is the champion of young America.  His budget proposal "The Path to Prosperity" of April 5th is the first serious attempt to derail the out of control train that is big government spending.  Reforming the government's old age assistance programs is the heart of his budget but in the land of Washington, that can be like touching the third rail; mess with social programs and have your political career crash and burn.

Since the release of his budget with its fundamental proposed changes to Medicare, the response from both sides of the aisle has been emphatic.  Most of the political commentary last week regarding the proposal suggested that Mr. Ryan's budget will punish older Americans by reducing benefits and increasing costs. 

Demagoguery surrounding Medicare is nothing new.  Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the election last month of democrat Kathy Hochul in a traditionally Republican New York Congressional district was a referendum on Ryan's proposed changes to Medicare.  More likely, the special election was a referendum on sleazy politicians, in this case a Republican, who send lewd photos to women other than their wives.

Rep. Ryan's plan makes no changes to Medicare for those currently receiving benefits or those ages 55 or older (see this excellent video of Ryan describing his plan).  His plan provides the rest of us a choice between guaranteed coverage options so we can determine what is best for us and our families -- similar to the plans offered to Congress.  Certainly his plan will provide less for future generations but the plan manages costs so that Medicare might actually exist for younger Americans.

Some in the media will confirm that when changes to Medicare are debated, the response from the audience is more abrupt than almost any other topic.  Angry Americans call or write in afraid that they'll lose their health benefits; the most common response?  "I'm only getting back what I paid in."

This "getting back what I paid in" mentality has long been fostered by our paternalistic government and is difficult to argue with unless you know that it is absolutely false.  Whether Americans receiving or soon to be receiving Medicare know it or not is inconsequential; those receiving Medicare benefits receive back significantly more than they pay in!

In January of this year, C. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane of the Urban Institute published an update to their earlier work "Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits over a Lifetime."  The chart below illustrates their findings and shows the huge discrepancy between lifetime Medicare taxes paid and Medicare benefits received.


This graph shows that the average man and woman (average defined in the study as average income over their working lives and living to the average life expectancy) who start receiving benefits in 2010 get over 3 times more in benefits than they pay in to the system!  Of importance, the study accounts for inflation by calculating all past taxes and future payments in 2010 dollars to provide an accurate comparison. 

If the notion that Medicare recipients are simply "getting back what they paid in" is false then where is the money coming from?  Simply, the excess received is being borrowed from younger generations and the cost is more than we can bear. 

We are constantly reminded of the government's inability to manage a budget under the arbitrary debt ceiling (raised 80 times since 1940) and that the national "on budget" debt is over $14T.  The debt conversation all too often omits the "off budget" debt that includes underfunded liabilities to Social Security and Medicare which is about $110T according to a Forbes article; totaling more than $900K per working American.

This hulking mass of debt, which is largely attributed to Medicare, is by far the largest burden to future generation and greatly threatens our economic and societal well-being.  Worse, the government's old age assistance programs are nearly defunct.  Each May, the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees publishes their report on the financial state of their programs.  The 2011 report predicts that the trust fund will be totally exhausted in 2036 (five years earlier than the 2008 report) and a full 11 years before the first members of Generation Y reach eligibility for the programs. 

As the Medicare debate continues, the lines will be more definitively drawn, and if you support changes you will be labeled cold-hearted for being indifferent to the needs of senior citizens.  Remind yourself that those who resist change are being inconsiderate of everybody else.  Without fundamental changes to Medicare there will likely be tremendous inter-generational strife.  Still, with leaders like Paul Ryan championing the cause of lower government debt levels and strong fiscal discipline, maybe we can kick that can a little further down the road.

Brenton Stransky is co- author of The Young Conservative's Field Guide and can be contacted through their website at

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: budget; healthcare; medicare; paulryan

1 posted on 06/07/2011 9:46:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Paul Ryan and Scott Walker are my heroes!

2 posted on 06/07/2011 9:52:04 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SeekAndFind

Medicare is Socialized medicine and is bad for everyone.

Time to Abolish Medicare.

3 posted on 06/07/2011 10:00:15 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: trumandogz

No. It’s time to abolish this:

Millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes, thousands are going hungry. In the midst of all this, Barack Obama can’t give your money away to foreigner terror imams fast enough.


Obama gives billions
of U.S. taxpayer dollars to countries and entities that support Sharia law and/or harbor, hide and support those who want to destroy the U.S. and our allies.

• $3.6 billion, matching the request, to expand and improve capabilities of the Afghan security forces

• $400 million, as requested, to build the counterinsurgency capabilities of the Pakistani security forces

• Afghanistan: $1.52 billion, $86 million above the request

• West Bank and Gaza: $665 million in bilateral economic, humanitarian, and security assistance for the West Bank and Gaza

• Jordan: $250 million, $250 million above the request, including $100 million for economic and $150 million for security assistance

• Egypt: $360 million, $310 million above the request, including $50 million for economic assistance, $50 million for border security, and $260 million for security assistance

• Pakistan: $1.9 billion, $591 million above the request

• Iraq: $968 million, $336 million above the request

• Oversight: $20 million, $13 million above the request, to expand oversight capacity of the State Department, USAID, and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan to review programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq

• Lebanon: $74 million
Africa: $151 million, $18 million above the request, for economic and security assistance for Kenya, Somalia, Southern Sudan, and Zimbabwe

• International Food Assistance: $500 million, $200 million above the request, for PL 480 international food assistance to alleviate suffering during the global economic crisis

• Refugee Assistance: $343 million, $50 million above the request, …including humanitarian assistance for Gaza. Funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency programs in the West Bank and Gaza is limited to $119 million (Note: Gaza = Hamas)

• Disaster Assistance: $200 million to avert famines and provide life-saving assistance during natural disasters and for internally displaced people around the world, including Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, the Middle East and South Asia

• Peacekeeping: $837 million for United Nations peacekeeping operations, including an expanded mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a new mission in Chad and the Central African Republic

• Department of Justice: $17 million, matching the request, for counter-terrorism activities and to provide training and assistance for the Iraqi criminal justice system

. Obama funds $20M in tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA.
(This is the news that didn’t make the headlines)

The mainstream media remains silent on this but the International News has now picked up the story
— and then there is Obama’s $108 billion IMF bailout scheme
in addition to the Supplemental.

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration will give away nearly $6 million of American tax dollars to restore 63 historic and cultural sites, including Islamic mosques and minarets, in 55 nations. See the State Department document here.

4 posted on 06/07/2011 10:03:30 AM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: patriot08

To put things in perspective, we are borrowing $4 billion a day. All of the things you want to abolish amount to less than a week’s worth of borrowing.

5 posted on 06/07/2011 10:26:04 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

The billions and billions that Obama gives to Muslim sh*tholes who hate us is the first thing that should be cut, then MEDICAID and WELFARE.

6 posted on 06/07/2011 11:02:20 AM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: patriot08

They won’t be.

7 posted on 06/07/2011 11:52:23 AM PDT by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind
Created by clearcarbon

8 posted on 06/07/2011 11:55:44 AM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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To: patriot08; trumandogz

In addition, we should abolish all freebies to anchor babies, illegal aliens, and brand new immigrants along with their extended families. Between all the freebies and incarceration it costs taxpayers hundreds of Billions per year.

Then there’s the alphabet soup of agencies that function as an extension of the executive office. Slash the budgets of the EPA, FDA, Dept of Ed, HHS, Dept of Labor, HUD etc. and all those newly minted Czarships.

9 posted on 06/07/2011 2:20:08 PM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: GailA

ROFL. What a great Picture!

10 posted on 06/07/2011 2:21:23 PM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: kabar

Knowing the Muzzize-in-Chief, they won’t be.

11 posted on 06/07/2011 3:01:24 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: kabar

Should read ‘Muzzie’

12 posted on 06/07/2011 3:02:30 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: algernonpj

Freeper clearcarbon created and gave me permission to use it, as you can see I gave him the credit.

13 posted on 06/08/2011 6:55:19 AM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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To: algernonpj
For those Ryan plan supporters: His plan just cut and guts for 10 years like 0'care does, then you get some weirdo formula for the younger generations. NEITHER PLAN IS WORTH SPIT! BECAUSE NEITHER PLAN FIXES THE PROBLEMS. 40+ YEARS OF DONOR PALM GREASING. Neither party wants to give up the $ from those donors.

My 2 cents add to it: Don’t just sit an gripe, offer solutions.

Medicare is a FORCED taxation, along with that you get to pay a premium every month once you are of age to go on it for RATIONED HEALTH CARE.

Not all jobs came/come with pensions or 401K’s. So Medicare all some have to rely on for health care.

No one mentions the 40+ years of palm greasing to donors driving up the cost of Medicare, nor the $60 Billion in FRAUD and waste. Nor the RED tape both the medical professionals and the patient must jump through to be treated.

1) Why are we renting long term use equipment instead of purchasing it out right? This is a palm greaser :-)
2) Why are doctors who are unrelated to your case, or called in by your doctor being allowed into a patients room, say Hi, might or might not listen to your chest...bills Medicare. A simple form signed by the patient approving which doctors are allowed in, and tacked to the door can cut this one. Not on the approved list, you don’t get paid. A code Blue would be an exception. (this is a fraud/scam)
3)Medicare already dictates how many days for any given illness you get to stay in the hospital, you may not be ready to be released medical wise. So you end up back in the ER and back in the hospital.
4) This is more a FDA problem, the need to piggy back drugs. You take a drug to treat Arthur, then you need a pill to treat the GI problems the Arthur drug created, then you need another pill to fix the problem the reflux pill causes...pretty soon you are taking 10+ drugs. And some of these drugs can and do put you in the hospital because of the side effects. and having to take multiple drugs to treat 1 condition is not cost effective and they require more blood testing work, and more visits to the doctor.
5) NOT all generics are equal to the name brand, and come with some nasty side effects the brand name doesn’t have. Which also require extra blood work, extra doctor visits And you have to jump through Espress Scripts layers of red tape to get the name brand approved.
6) NOT all drugs will go generic. Would you want to take insulin that has gotten to warm in your mailbox waiting for you to pick it up? As the gov’t wants you to mail order your drugs instead of going to the local drug store.
7) Why is the FDA allowed to approve a drug that has a 50% failure rate due to horrendous side effects?>/b> That could land you in the hospital.
8) Try the older drugs first as they have track records versus the newer drugs and are cheaper.
9) Cut the red tape. 1 visit to the doc is 30 mins of Medicare paper work for his/her ins. person.
10)Kick the illegals off Medicare. This is fraud

It all drives up the cost to Medicare, and to younger workers health insurance/medical cost.

14 posted on 06/08/2011 7:32:05 AM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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To: GailA

Great post!

I started reading through Ryan’s plan, but have not yet had time to complete. What little I read set off majore warning bells.

15 posted on 06/08/2011 10:58:20 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: algernonpj

Just talk to seniors and you get an earful of the pit falls.

The middle report from Heritage is the best I’ve found. Also the WSJ piece, which states quite clearly there is not a wit’s difference in the 2 plans with the cut & gut for the first 10 years.

We know 0’care has NO reforms in it. Don’t want to T off your donors. Ditto for the GOP.

Those warning bells was Ryan getting into your wallet for subsidies. NO FIXES of the 40+ years of PALM GREASING. Which both parties are guilty of putting into Medicare.

I know Ryan’s plan supposedly does not affect those already on Medicare. BUT if all you do is gut Medicare, there will be NO health care for seniors.

I’m not a bleeding heart, but I know you can’t yank the rug out from under frail old people, many whose total monthly income is about $900-1100 per month from SS after their Medicare premium is paid.

That qualifies them for a few cans of fruit and veggies from the commodities program, maybe $10-30 in food stamps, depending on what their SS income is. Illegals get much more than this pittance.

Younger generations seem to forget many of these widows and widowers worked jobs that had no benefits like today’s jobs do. Nor were they high paying jobs for the time period.

Most widows draw off their husband’s SS as they either didn’t work, or worked very low wage jobs. They grew up in another world than the one we live in today. Moms stayed home with their kids.. In other words Ozzie and Harriet’s world.

16 posted on 06/08/2011 3:29:02 PM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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