Medicare to Become Insolvent Sooner Than Expected, Time for An Overhaul
A recent report circulating throughout the mainstream media regarding the coming “insolvency” of Medicare and Social Security has sent shockwaves through the United States with many of the Baby Boomer generation concerned that, after working and paying into the program their entire lives, they will be left with nothing when it finally comes time to stop working.
Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class.
The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won’t be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point.
The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 — no change from the projection last year.
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The warning serves as a reminder of major issues left to languish while Washington plunges deeper into partisan strife. Because of the deterioration in Medicare’s finances, officials said the Trump administration will be required by law to send Congress a plan next year to address the problems, after the president’s budget is submitted.
But there is much more to the story than the headlines and each side of the aisle in American politics has a different story when it comes to the issue. As you might suspect, while Democrats and Republicans blame each other for Medicare’s problems and take credit for its successes, they all have the same ultimate agenda in the end – raiding the program, cutting services, raising taxes, and leaving the American people in the lurch.
What Republicans Say – What Democrats Say
Republicans, always the enemy of any spending that benefits poor or working people, consistently argue that Medicare is entirely bankrupt because government programs always end up being so. For them, Medicare is and always was a Ponzi scheme. Democrats, however, always ready to increase taxes to increase spending regardless of results, argue that the program is fine and that Republicans are fearmongering over the fact that Medicare needs some additional funding.
So what is really happening with Medicare? Is it in crisis or is it nothing to worry about?
The truth is that both the Democrats and Republicans are lying (big surprise I know).
First, it is important to realize that the American people have met their obligations in paying for the program. The mechanisms put in place to fund Medicare have also met their end of the bargain insomuch as they have been funded and implemented. However, Congress and the Executive have routinely failed, willingly, to meet their obligations in funding Medicare appropriately, adequately allocating tax money, and keeping their hands out of the trust funds set up to maintain the program.
With that in mind, there is no denying that Medicare is in crisis and that the crisis is looming.
So while the Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals, continue to blame one another for the crisis, their solutions are all too familiar.
Republicans argue the need to privatize Social Security and Medicare, cut benefits and services, and strip down care to that which is compliant with “efficiency models.” Democrats argue that raising taxes on working people, forcing citizens to buy private insurance at the barrel of a gun, and cutting benefits and services and stripping down care to “comparative cost effectiveness” is the correct model.
There is a common denominator to the solutions suggested by both sides of the aisle if you haven’t noticed it already.
Dems and Repubs Killing Medicare – Neo Feudalism
Both Democrats and Republicans would love to see Medicare fail. The reason why is that both would be able to finally chomp down on the giant trust fund of Medicare money complete with its lifeline of taxpayer money that continues to produce more and more revenue. Much like the Congressional attack on the United States Post Office, a system that was built up with the hard work and money of the American taxpayer, replete with promises from Congress members, Presidents, talking heads, and “experts,” the Medicare and Social Security systems are under fire.
The goal, of course, is the further advancement of a neo-feudal society. Looking only at Medicare, Republicans are openly arguing for privatization, much like they do with the Post Office and Social Security. In this instance, Republicans are discussing turning Medicare into a “voucher program.” In other words, it would do away with Medicare as we know it, forcing the people who would be Medicare recipients to purchase their insurance from the private sector. Basically, an elderly person who would have otherwise simply filed for their Medicare benefits and allowed the program to pay for their medical bills (with the exception of deductibles, copays, etc.), would now have to shop around for private insurance, compare health insurance policy, pay for it, and receive a “voucher” from the Federal government that would help pay for a portion of the cost of that insurance. All while private insurance policy premiums are skyrocketing in cost and slashing the amount of coverage provided, a result of the combination of the commoditization of healthcare, free market ideology, and socialist policies.
Democrats, of course, love the “free market at the barrel of a gun” method also (remember, Obamacare was both a Republican and a Democrat plan). After all, the Affordable Care Act forced Americans to buy private insurance from the marketplace and fined them heavily if they did not. At the same time, their Messianic President cut billions of dollars from Medicare. Like the Republican voucher idea, Obamacare legislation provided some scant and mysterious subsidies for a very tiny number of people who “qualified.” But the overall result was rising premiums and heavily slashed care. This is the model that Democrats wish to intensify (returning the fines for being too poor to afford insurance as well) in their “solutions” to the Medicare crisis.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that benefits, services, and care should be cut though neither side would prefer to say so openly. Both parties argue for, support, and implement cuts to Medicare. Both complain about “waste” and both want guidelines in place that measure the age, length of life after procedure, and worth of human beings by the cost of the procedure and care divided by their age and overall usefulness and production capabilities. The only difference between the two is that Republicans whine about poor people milking the system and Democrats drone on about the importance of the collective hive. Make no mistake, however, both want to cut services, benefits, and care provided to patients. The American regime is quickly turning healthcare into a eugenics program.
Let us also not forget higher taxes as a solution to the Medicare crisis, ensuring that, as Medicare and Social Security are privatized, even more money can be forced out of the hands of working Americans and fed not into trust funds but into the accounts and coffers of private international banks and corporations for speculation, derivatives, and the next inevitable financial fleecing.
Clearly, there is more to the story than partisan bickering since both sides of the aisle agree on the general principles of what should be done about Medicare. Still, Democrats and Republicans will scream at the top of their lungs about the evils of the other party only to “compromise” at the last minute on more cuts, higher taxes, and privatization.
But why are they screaming so loud if they actually agree? This is a question that everyone should be asking themselves, provided one understands that both parties actually do argue for the same solutions. The answer, of course, is readily apparent. The argument is merely for political theatre. It isn’t so much that there is not a difference between the parties, it is that they are owned by the same interests (mainly, financial, corporate, etc.) who are themselves extensions/manifestations of the Deep State whose interests are in profit, power, and control over the mass of people scrambling to pay their premiums and literally begging for their lives when it comes the time that they need critical care.
But while political theatre stands as a distraction, the question then comes, “What do we actually want? How do we save Medicare?”
We must demand a universal healthcare system where healthcare is available to all but also a system in which patients and Americans in general are not forced to purchase private products at the barrel of a gun. We must demand a system of Medicare For All.
Thankfully, the “individual mandate” aspect of the ACA has been repealed and this is a major step forward.
Logically, there must be a restoration of the money cut from Medicare under the Obama and Trump administrations and an effort must be made to expand that program to address the needs of the population and ensure that adequate care is provided. In fact, the program’s funding should be dramatically increased and all of this restoration and increase in funding can be accomplished with the revenue taken from a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax.
This fully funded and restored Medicare be offered to all Americans for a reasonable fee (perhaps $70-100 per person per month or less) on a sliding scale, growing cheaper as one moves down the income bracket, cheaper for working Americans, even free for the poorest and most vulnerable with little to no copay or deductibles. This should be offered, but not mandated. This plan will allow for universal coverage but it will not eliminate the private industry since those who can afford a private plan will still have that option available if they prefer. The private industry will then be forced to compete with reasonable levels of coverage with lower prices and better services and offer even better coverage than the comprehensive Medicare version. One thing that will be eliminated, however, is the private industry’s virtual monopoly when it comes to payment for medical services.
More importantly, it will ensure that every American has access to the basic level of health care and that no American who is sick and in need of care will ever be denied due to budgeting, policy, costs, or “death panel” rationing. To be clear, this Medicare For All program should include doctor’s visits, specialists, surgeries, preventative care, basic medical, regenerative health care, disease prevention, diet and complementary therapies. Alternative therapies that have demonstrated results should be included in the plans as well. This program should provide both basic and comprehensive healthcare.
In addition, the Medicare program should be given license to negotiate prices with hospitals and doctors with the force of the Federal government behind it to prevent unreasonable pricing, gouging, and withholding of care. Negotiation should be able to take place before or after services are rendered but never in a manner that would see the care delayed or denied. The service must be provided and the bickering over prices, if necessary, can be settled later.
Essentially, the program should work as a one-stop shop for healthcare consumers ensuring that whoever is sick can see the doctor. Medicare For All should not function as insurance per se, but a guarantee of medical care.
In addition, the closing of community hospitals must be stopped since it is not only making healthcare more cumbersome and costly, it is depriving rural and less affluent people of even the access to expensive rationed care in our current society. Not only must the closing of hospitals stop, hospitals that have been closed must be re-opened and new hospitals must be built so that more and more Americans have access to their services. These hospitals can be reo-opened, rebuilt, or built with low to zero percent interest credit provided by the Federal Reserve.
Providing a system of universal healthcare will itself jolt the economy as the burden of providing health insurance will be eased off the backs of industry and business and the American people will be free from the prospect of financial apocalypse when someone in their family becomes ill. In addition, it will create a healthier work force also benefiting business, industry, personal financial stability, and the economy as a whole.
A New Culture Of Healthcare
A complete overhaul of how healthcare is provided should be performed as soon as possible. From an update of healthcare technology (as well as training in non-tech based medicine and analysis in case the power ever goes out), improvement in the cleanliness and outreach of hospitals, better medical training for doctors, nurses and other staff (with more focus on care and medicine than pushing drugs or billing) must all be paramount.
In addition, medical personnel, doctors, and mental health professionals must no longer be considered “authorities” with the ability to forcibly medicate, evaluate, or restrain individuals due to drug usage, mental health, or other activities. Law enforcement is for law enforcement – medicine is for doctors. It should be codified in law that a person has the right to refuse any treatment (medical, vaccine, mental, etc).
Another important aspect of healthcare overhaul is the need to develop new and improved medicines and treatments while keeping costs down for those medicines. This will involve preventing unreasonable pricing for medicines and treatments developed by private Big Pharma companies through all legal means. No longer should “charge as high a price as you can fetch” apply to life-saving medicine. Drug companies should be able to make profits, even massive profits, but not at the expense of the lives and health of the American people. In addition, low to zero percent interest credit from the Federal Reserve to develop new medicines, drugs, technologies, and procedures as well as investigate the untapped possibilities of natural medicines, herbs, and nutrition should be immediately be issued to jumpstart innovation and open the floodgates to new developments in healthcare and medicine.
How Will You Pay For It?
While the concept of a universal healthcare system is desirable to most people, the next logical question quickly becomes, “But how are you going to pay for it?” The answer is simple – a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax.
In terms of funding, the Wall Street Sales Tax is a necessity. This tax would solve both the “crisis” of the social safety net as well as the general budgetary crisis at all levels of government in the United States of America.
The Wall Street Sales Tax should be applied at the rate of 1% to financial market transactions such as stocks, bonds, flash trading, e-trading, high-frequency trading, debt instruments, and the notional value of derivatives. A reasonable exemption of $1 million per person per year should be enacted in order to prevent the placement of taxes on individuals who shift around personal financial assets or make investments for their 401(k) or other retirement account. The 1% tax should be paid by the seller of the instrument, not the buyer, and the proceeds accrued from the tax should be split evenly between the federal government and the states.
Given that the implementation of a 1% Wall Street Sales Tax would be applied to toxic financial transactions such as derivatives as well as flash trading, it is estimated that the revenue obtained from the tax would amount to several trillion dollars, more than enough to eliminate the budget deficit at the federal and state levels, account for on budget spending, and provide for a robust system of universal healthcare provided by a Medicare for All system.
I highly encourage everyone to access the article, “The Case For The 1% Wall Street Sales Tax,” in order to see how at WSST (Wall Street Sales Tax) would be implemented and what the results of the tax would be.
Essentially, there would no cost to the American taxpayer and the Wall Street bankers would only be paying a fraction of their fair share. However, the benefits resulting from the revenue of the tax would result in the lack of a budget deficit at the state and federal levels, elimination of on-budget spending shortfalls, universal health care, fully funded education and infrastructure systems, and much more. In the context of the American healthcare system, the implementation of a Medicare For All, funded by a Wall Street Sales Tax and, where applicable, low to zero percent interest credit extended by the Federal Reserve, would provide all Americans with affordable to free access to healthcare while not costing the American people a dime.
While most Americans agree that healthcare is prohibitively expensive and even out of reach for many, there is a great deal of resistance to a true universal healthcare system coming from political circles. Republicans and Democrats can agree that universal health care is a bad idea and argue for the domination of the health care system by private industry, i.e. insurance companies, private providers, and Big Pharma. The more ideological political divisions such as “conservatives” and “liberals” differ on their approach with the former arguing to “get government out of health care” and the latter arguing for a forced participation with heavy taxation to pay for it. But while those in positions of political power attempt to prevent adequate affordable healthcare from becoming a reality and the ideologues argue over political mythology, the American people continue to face high prices, lack of access, and hospitals that turn them away from receiving life-saving treatment. For most Americans, making arguments about the sanctity of the “market” or the “collective society” is a luxury they do not have.
Americans need a true system of universal healthcare that does not involve force by government agencies, collectivism, or reliance on the “market.” Ideology and philosophy are fine but they do not take precedence over human rights, individual rights, or the lives of human beings. Simply put, Americans are in desperate need of a system where, if they are sick, they can go to the doctor and be confident that their illness will not result in poverty or undue stress. Such a system can be created as soon as the political will exists or, in the absence of political will, when the American people demand it.
Medicare is only in a crisis if the real solutions are ignored.
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Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 1,000 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com