Monday, January 23, 2017

Medicare

I read Trump wants no cuts in Medicare.  This can't continue forever, but I understand this politically.

One change which can be IMMEDIATELY put into place though is severing Social Security and Medicare.  Bill Clinton made it so anyone who wanted to receive Social Security had to use the Medicare system.  Such, in any event, is my understanding of a massive and complex system.

Over time, we will want most people to prefer using their own insurance across the entire course of their lives.  But in the immediate future, some people might want to opt out of Medicare, since it is in many respects, in my understanding, inferior to other forms of coverage, and that would be to the good.

It would be worthwhile as well considering ways in which we can begin granting young people the right and ability to opt out of this system, in tandem with changes in the health insurance system.

And to do this, at some point we need to tell the truth, which is that NOBODY is setting aside their own money for their future.  The young are paying the bills for the old, and it has been this way since the very beginning.  The fiction is maintained by pretending that the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid system is somehow separate from the "government".  You have the IRS, which collects income taxes, then you have a separate system, which gets an off the top 15% cut of everything.

At some point, these will need to merge, so that we can recognize that all our old people are getting paid out of TAX revenue outright.  There is no difference between FICA and income tax.  What we are doing is paying out charity.  What we are doing is paying out a large multiple of what these people put in, let us say AT LEAST double. This is charity.  It is not a retirement savings account.  There is not and never was a "lock box".

What we want is something like what Chile has, where people are required to save money, but can do with it what they like.  Is everyone a guaranteed winner?  Of course not.  We can keep some form of charity in place.  But allowing people to win, and to win big, should also be a feature of a sane system, one which does not make a large and abusive government the sugar daddy most people can't do without.

1) merge the revenue streams and bureaucracies; 2) gradually decrease the required contributions; 3) create alternatives in insurance and retirement savings; 4) fund from tax revenue shortfalls in the system paying out to seniors who have nothing else.

And of course fix our fucking financial system.

All easy stuff, obviously.

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