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To: ModelBreaker; dcwusmc; bamahead; djsherin
That keeps the damage by the government limited to medicare

I disagree.

Defending Medicare in its current form further damages the credibility of the Republican Party on entitlement reform only to apply a political band-aid to a spurting jugular. The growing costs of Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs constitute a disease that could ultimately render the Federal government insolvent and thus unable to execute its functions, even those that are legitimate and proper under the Constitution.

The proper solution for Medicare, and one that could be adapted to Social Security, would include ending new enrollments (as well as the corresponding payroll tax); offering partial buyouts (e.g., non-taxable funds to maintain a privately-run HDHP and HSA for a set number of years or a lump sum, non-taxable distribution that is a set percentage of the individual's original tax payments) to those Americans presently enrolled in the system; and treatment of Medicare obligations as general obligations of the Federal government payable from its general funds (i.e., no more of this "trust fund" shell game BS).

Someone has to turn the lights on, so to speak. It will be much easier to put the Federal government on a diet and exercise plan if the electorate actually knows how obese it has become...on the watch of both parties.

12 posted on 09/07/2009 11:10:08 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 (So many Communists, so little time.)
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To: rabscuttle385
Defending Medicare in its current form further damages the credibility of the Republican Party on entitlement reform only to apply a political band-aid to a spurting jugular. The growing costs of Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlement programs constitute a disease that could ultimately render the Federal government insolvent and thus unable to execute its functions, even those that are legitimate and proper under the Constitution.

The proper solution for Medicare, and one that could be adapted to Social Security, would include ending new enrollments (as well as the corresponding payroll tax); offering partial buyouts (e.g., non-taxable funds to maintain a privately-run HDHP and HSA for a set number of years or a lump sum, non-taxable distribution that is a set percentage of the individual's original tax payments) to those Americans presently enrolled in the system; and treatment of Medicare obligations as general obligations of the Federal government payable from its general funds (i.e., no more of this "trust fund" shell game BS).


Cool, very thoughtful comment, lots of points here! I agree that having Michael Steele & other big GOP types going around pledging to "protect Medicare" undermines the GOP & angers the conservative base on entitlement reform, and that these entitlements are only going to get more expensive for our country as baby boomers retire.

But how do you incentivize private insurers to enter the business of insuring old people today? In the last decade my grandparents were alive, I can recall them measuring out dozens of pills into weekly prescription cases -- and this was before pharmaceutical research costs & drug prices went up so much as they have recently. I can't see anything but a government free-money giveaway to private insurers to motivate them to pick up the tab for the elderly now (buyouts as you call them?).

What I've read by the Cato Institute, etc on this issue usually are about clean-slate designs that acknowledge current Medicare recipients are basically screwed if they lost their benefits now and had to buy private again. "Health-status insurance" (interesting idea, check it out) is supposed to help if your premiums go up as you age, but not if you're already aged. Perhaps if children of the elderly were allowed to extend their coverage to their parents, we might have something ...

I recall when a family friend retired (with a corporate pension) about 10 years ago, I heard that he'd somehow bought health insurance from his previous employer that covered him, his wife and child for the rest of his life (and I guess only until his child became an adult?) for >$100k. I thought that sounded crazy at the time, but now I guess it was pretty smart..
15 posted on 09/08/2009 12:48:15 AM PDT by fours
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