MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), said that they were depending on the people being too stupid to understand it because, if they did, the bill never
could have been passed. The fact that he said that openly, on national TV, makes one wonder how bright he must be. However, as we read and listen to the proposals being made by the Democrat hopefuls, we cannot help but wonder why they are emulating Professor Gruber and his comments. For example:
— Virtually all of the Democrat candidates have called for “Medicare for all”. As of now, Medicare serves about 15 percent of our population. The government sets and dictates what can be charged for each and every medical service-procedure-examination-test. Medicare requires the medical service providers not bill the patients for their co-pay until Medicare has processed the bill, forwarded it on to the patient’s supplemental insurance provider, and when the medical provider receives that reimbursement, only then can the medical provider bill the patient for their co-pay. While the medical providers must wait weeks or months for that requirement to take place, they nevertheless must pay promptly for all the costs they have incurred; rent, utilities, payrolls, taxes, insurance, medical supplies, and so on. And, everyone who is employed, no matter what their age, and their employers, must contribute a portion of their earnings into Medicare for their entire work life. When they retire and are no longer working, they then have to pay a monthly premium into Medicare for the rest of their life and said premiums are automatically deducted from each person’s monthly Social Security payment.
— One would think that after workers and their employers contributing into the program for one’s entire work life, and then paying a premium each month, and needing to have a “supplemental” non-government insurance policy to cover the 20 percent of medical expenses not covered by Medicare, that the program would be “solvent.” OOPS! With all those government dictates that control premium payments for one’s entire work life and thereafter, the control over what can be charged by the medical providers, and the need to have a supplemental policy to cover costs not reimbursed by Medicare, and so on. Well, the last time I looked, Medicare said it had $38,600,000,000,000 (that’s $38.6 trillion) in unfunded liabilities. Unfunded liabilities are known future costs for which the necessary funds have not been set aside. That’s almost double our country’s national debt.
Now consider what the residential hopefuls are telling you, that they want to provide Medicare for all, including those who are not in this country legally. That would mean coverage not for 15 percent of the population, but for over 100 percent of the known population. An absolute nightmare scenario that, if implemented, would create a chaos beyond our comprehension. I don’t believe there is a politician I would trust to alter our current government involvement. Perhaps they should first try to fix the current unfunded liability crisis affecting 15 percent of the population.
— Social Security, with huge unfunded liabilities is a similar story. The government has collected the money from the citizens and their employers for their entire work life and the program needs to both raise contribution levels and reduce payouts to survive. The system was built when there were 15 or 16 workers paying in for every one collecting a payment. Today the population is living longer, had a huge growth spurt after World War II with what we now call Baby Boomers, we have been having fewer and fewer babies being born with the result being there are around two workers paying in for every person collecting a payment. Those numbers mean the system cannot be sustained with the same rules and regulations and in some way workers/employers’ contributions must be increased and retirees’ monthly benefits will probably have to be decreased.
The system simply was not structured for today's population distribution. With that dire news, many politicians seem to want to include more people in the system who have not contributed to it and their stance is to just kick the can down the road for our children and grandchildren to cope with.
— In addition to those two pending nightmares, the presidential wannabees also think we should have “open borders”. Their feigned compassion, if implemented, would surely turn our country into third-world status. There are 7.7 billion people in the world and estimates are that 80 percent of them live on less than $10 per day, with many living on less than $2. If we had an open borders policy how many of those living in poverty would risk all to enter this country?
If that number were only one percent, could we accept an absorb an influx almost 62-million immigrants?
Think about these issues and please, don’t prove Professor Gruber to be right. Hold politicians accountable.
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident. He may be reached at email@example.com)