I have my suspicions.
But hold on, Foth-Regner, hold on! Our President and our Congress have promised not to cut seniors’ Medicare benefits. Apparently they’re going to accommodate all us Baby Boomers without reducing our services, simply by doing a little belt-tightening. And they’re going to use all the leftovers to insure 30 or 47 million uninsured Americans -- somewhere in that range, anyway.
Surely this is a miracle! Somehow, they have managed to overturn the laws of mathematics. According to U.S. Census projections, in Wisconsin alone, between 2010 and 2050:
--The population of those of working age, 18 to 64, will increase by 28%.
- --The population of seniors 65 and older will increase by 120%.
No word on what percentage of those in the working-age category will actually BE working, and therefore paying taxes. But let's not be petty.
So what have we got? Double the seniors, a stagnant workforce, and continued inflation (the Feds have been printing money as fast as they can – we will be fortunate indeed if we don’t have hyperinflation in a few years). And yet somehow Congress is going to cut $250-500 billion (depending on who’s counting) from Medicare spending over the next decade – AND insure up to 47 million more Americans with the savings!
And how will they reap these huge savings? By “trimming projected increases in … payments for medical services.” Really. What medical services? And what happens in a free market when prices fall? Demand goes up … supply goes down. Which means shortages … and longer waits for these “trimmed” medical services. The only solution will be for government to take it all over and provide us with the kind of cheerful, friendly, transparent and competent service we get at the DMV or public schools.
People need to stop listening to what politicians say and start looking at the economics behind their promises. Eventually, the wheels will come off. And now that China et al are becoming increasingly squeamish about lending more money to us, it looks like that day is fast approaching. When we can’t borrow the money from other countries anymore, then what?
All I can say is that it's probably not a great idea to entrust your health and well-being to any level of government. The numbers just don't add up.
I'm glad my citizenship is in heaven. Hope yours is, too.
(Originally posted 9/21/13)