The members of the failed Simpson Bowles Catfood Commission, which by the way produced no report that was officially accepted, despite the fact the mainstream media and the right wing pretend it did, and the GOP and the austerity hawks are still pushing the idea that the only way to “fix” Social Security and Medicare is to raise the age of eligibility, cut services, lower cost of living increases.
All the time continuing to totally ignore the fact that neither program is part of the general fund budget, and neither contributes directly to the deficit, and should not be discussed in these terms. The Social Security Trust Fund is totally off budget. Medicare should be managed so as to make it the same, to shield it from threats. The problem with Medicare is the for profit private insurance industry and the outrageously overpriced system of doctors and drugs, which must be addressed.
How to Improve Social Security and Medicare?
By LOWERING the age of eligibilty, and by insuring enough is deducted in payroll taxes to keep the trust fund sound. That includes removing the cap on upper level incomes, which are now exempt from being taxed for both programs. That alone virtually insures the soundness of both programs when combined with implementing cost controls. And in tandem with the latter, I believe Federal law should forbid any medical providers from denying service to Medicare patients. Actually, I believe in single payer Medicare for all citizens, and end to the for profit insurance industry, so that for all Americans only five percent of costs go to overhead, unlike the current situation, which only got the overhead down to the 20 – 25% range for the insurance industry.
Social Security and Medicare are both insurance programs. Those who would turn Social Security into a general fund supported program or privatize it want to do so only to kill it because philosophically they oppose such government programs, no matter how good, no matter how much they help the people.
Its opponents are interested in privatizing it in order to increase corporate profits, and ultimately to do what they have done to the rest of the Treasury, raid it for the super rich.
Also, the age of Medicare eligibility must NOT be raised, in fact, 65 should mean full eligibility, if not 64. Those living longer are those wealthy enough to afford good medical care. The average worker, especially those whose lives have been spent in manual laborer, are the ones whose life spans have not increased.
But here, again, the corporate oligarchy and the 1% want wage slaves and serfs they can exploit until they drop dead, again, for one motive: profit to line their already overflowing coffers.