I don't understand the basis or justification behind a mandatory insurance plan run by an inefficient third party. Why should individual citizens be forced to contribute in a wasteful "insurance" program? Whether they receive their earnings now as they please or in the future should all be based on their own personal preferences and will. The only certifiable solutions to the insolvency of this system is a market-based approach to retirement investments. Citizens could create a whole lot more out of their savings if given the authority to do so.
If we look at the social programs in place now, we see that (based primarily on the burdens of SS and medicare obligations), we spend far more our senior citizens than we do our children. The disparity is close to 6:1. This is despite the fact that the elderly often make up a higher income bracket. As we now pay more into programs that favor the welfare of people who have already spent their entire lives working and saving for their retirement, we soon will be forced to take a number of controversial and unfair reforms to maintain the current system. These reforms include reducing the benefits for future retirees and/or implementing trillion-dollar tax increases and/or extending the age at which beneficiaries receive payments. All of these reforms will essentially mean the younger generation will pay more and receive less.
In the 40s and 50s, when there was something like 35 working individuals for every 1 retiree, SS and medicare were not viewed as a fiscal crisis. Now that the demographic shifts predict a worker-retiree ratio of 3:1, it is simply unsustainable in its current structure. Privatization of SS, at some level, is inevitable.
"I still don't see what the objection is to the idea that people should not be allowed to run around without at least some basic health insurance," said Mark Pauly, a conservative health economist at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Emphasizing personal responsibility, Pauly and other conservatives have argued that the uninsured incur medical bills as other Americans do; the tab is just picked up by someone else.
In 1991, Pauly wrote an influential plan for universal health coverage that relied on an insurance mandate to prevent people from "shifting costs to others." At the time, Washington was gearing up for a major debate over rising healthcare costs and covering the uninsured that would culminate in President Clinton's failed 1993 healthcare initiative.
Liberals, reluctant to leave the problem to the private sector, were pushing to create more government health insurance programs like Medicare or to require employers to offer health benefits.
"We were thinking, if you wanted to achieve universal coverage, what was the way to do it if you didn't do single payer?" said Paul Feldstein, a health economist at UC Irvine, who co-wrote the 1991 plan with Pauly.
Feldstein and Pauly compared mandatory health insurance to requirements to pay for Social Security, auto insurance or workers' compensation.
So too did the Heritage Foundation's Stuart Butler, who in 1989 wrote a health plan that also included an insurance requirement.
"If a young man wrecks his Porsche and has not had the foresight to obtain insurance, we may commiserate, but society feels no obligation to repair his car," Butler told a Tennessee health conference."
Last edited by Catawba; 07-30-11 at 02:45 AM.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb
That's been the problem all along.
You guys have been taking the political hyperbole and have been repeating it as if it were truth.
The arguments for privatization and partial privatization have nearly always been for far future retirees and not for the near future retirees.
Current benefits need to be means tested and tapered off, with the institution of conservatively managed personal accounts, with the option for some people to take on more risk.
I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
In truth, Americans today are obligated to repair the young man's Porsche, even with the mandated government insurance program. Unfortunately, America can no longer afford to bail out even the well-insured.
I've heard the comparison to auto insurance made before. The original purpose of auto insurance mandates was not to ensure the welfare of the accident victim, but to reduce the high number of lawsuits resulting from uninsured motorists. These lawsuits generally cost the taxpayer (a third party) far more than is necessary or convenient. I'm generally not opposed to legislation that attempts to protect unaffected third parties from swallowing the costs of other people's mistakes and misfortunes. You can't use the taxpayer as an instrument of campaign for universal health care. Though the costs are currently swallowed by unaffected third party taxpayers, a system which subsidizes health insurance for all and which is financed exclusively by the taxpayer is only amplifying the burden on the unaffected third-party. The bottom line is your lifestyle and the consequences of such a lifestyle is none of my business, nor is it reason to demand my obligation.