"Most people have never known our country before Medicare and Medicaid, which was enacted 46 years ago. Those of us who were practicing medicine before 1965 knew it well.
About half of older people did not have health insurance. Only unionized or government employees whose employment contracts provided for retirement health insurance were so lucky. But there weren't many such people in small-town Kansas.
Then, just as today, many seniors were living at or below the poverty line. Half of Medicare recipients today are living on $28,000 a year or less. But they do have Medicare Part A for hospital services.
To have Part B, physician services, and Part D, the drug benefit, they must buy them. Also, they must pay deductibles and co-pays unless they purchase an insurance policy that pays for what Medicare doesn't cover.
It costs a Medicare recipient $7,000 to $10,000 a year for complete coverage. That's a lot for someone whose income is $28,000.
But that's so much better than before Medicare. If you were among those without insurance, you either delayed care for as long as you could or you asked for charity — never a pleasant task for elderly people who always have taken pride in paying their bills.
Many died from delaying care. For those who finally sought care and were treatable, getting hospital care went something like this:
"Sister Kathleen, I have a woman with large uterine fibroids who is almost bleeding to death each month. Neither she nor anyone in the family has any money. Can you help her?"
Read more here: Dr. Bill Roy: Don't return to life before Medicare, Medicaid | Wichita Eagle
"Before Social Security, almost half of elderly Americans had income below the poverty line, reports the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Roughly 12 percent of elderly citizens are considered poor today. The program lifted more than 11 million out of poverty — more than 60 percent of those were women."
Perry’s monstrous lies about Social Security | Reuters Money
BTW, most of our debt is due to Reaganomics (deregulation and supply side economics):
"Debt relative to GDP rose rapidly during the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan, whose economic policies increased military spending and lowered tax rates. Gross debt in nominal dollars quadrupled during the Reagan and Bush presidencies from 1980 to 1992. The net public debt quintupled in nominal terms. Debt held by the public had declined from 28% to 26% of GDP in the 1970s, by contrast, it rose to 41% of GDP by the end of the 1980s.
During the 1990s, debt held by the public had risen to nearly 50% of GDP in the early 1990s, but fell to 39% of GDP by the end of the decade under the presidency of Bill Clinton. The public debt burden fell due in part to decreased millitary spending after the Cold War, 1990, 1993 and 1997 budget deals, gridlock between White House and Congress, and increased tax revenue resulting from the Dot-com bubble. The budget controls instituted in the 1990s successfully restrained fiscal action by the Congress and the President and together with economic growth contributed to the budget surpluses that materialized by the end of the decade. These surpluses led to a decline in the debt held by the public, and from fiscal years 1998 through 2001, the debt-to-GDP measure declined from about 43 percent to about 33 percent.
Debt relative to GDP rose due to recessions and policy decisions in the early 21st century. From 2000 to 2008 debt held by the public rose from 35% to 40%, and to 62% by the end of fiscal year 2010. During the presidency of George W. Bush, the gross public debt increased from $5.7 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008, due in part to the Bush tax cuts and increased military spending caused by the wars in the Middle East. Under President Barack Obama, the debt increased from $10.7 trillion in 2008 to $15.5 trillion by February 2012, caused mainly by decreased tax revenue due to the late-2000s recession and stimulus spending."
United States public debt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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