The most important question every Senior needs to ask
Well here we are stuck in limbo not knowing if Mr. Trump will protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as he promised. All through the campaign he said that these programs would not be changed but should be made stronger.
Then came the transition and he nominated Tom Price, a Congressman from Georgia and a Physician to be the secretary of Health and Human Services, he also nominated Mick Mulvaney, a Congressman from South Carolina to head the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Price and Mr. Mulvaney are outspoken critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They do not think that the government should have anything to do with these programs and calls them “Entitlements” which we all know is shorthand for “Welfare”.
I don’t know about you but after working over 50 years I think that I am entitled to the “Earned Benefits” that I paid into for all those years. Ok, I know the story, I paid for those who were already retired and the next generation would pay for mine, but wait they say there are not enough in that generation to keep Social Security afloat. That was true until the early 1980’s when President Reagan and the Speaker of the House Tip O’Neal came up with the idea that the Baby Boomers would pay double the payroll tax. That way they not only paid for those who had already retired, but would also pay for their own retirement, and then the tax would revert to its previous level. That way the working generation would take care of those who had gone before as the law was originally intended. Now the story is Social Security and Medicare is going broke, They have been saying that ever since I can remember in the 1950’s. How can a program that people are still paying into go broke? I remember an old quote my father use to say that “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure”. When it comes to a politician I don’t trust them doing the figuring.
As if Mr. Price and Mr. Mulvaney were not bad enough, the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security have you seen the fluctuations in the stock market since 2008? Mr. Ryan, Mr. Price and Mr. Mulvaney want to change Medicare to a voucher system. This is where the government gives you a voucher for a set amount of money and you go out and purchase your own insurance and if the voucher does not cover the amount of the insurance then tough luck. I do not know many seniors that have extra money lying around to cover the extra cost of health insurance.
Ok, so Mr. Ryan, Mr. Price and Mr. Mulvaney want to privatize Social Security, change Medicare to a voucher system and make Medicaid into a block grant. What in the devil is a block grant you ask? Well a block grant is a set amount of money the federal government gives to the states and the states decide how much of that money is used for health care for the poor, or if it is to be used for other projects.
I just turned 68 and have been retired for four years. I am enjoying retirement with my wife, even with the major surprise that occurred with her health. A year and half ago my wife was diagnoses with Parkinson’s disease. For her it has been a major change in her life, she no longer drives, nor does she go for the long walks she used to do, her energy level depletes rapidly, and one of the side effects of the Parkinson’s is that she falls asleep very easily. Parkinson’s is a very strange disease, no two people have the same symptoms or severity. It has also changed my life, I am now responsible for taking care of her, walking the dog, and chauffeuring my wife to and from appointments. My biking has come to a sudden halt and my golf game has also suffered a major hit.
Now back to the question at hand “Will He or Won’t He”? I am quite concerned with what will happen to Social Security and Medicare. My military retirement supplements my Social Security. Kathy and I could not live on what we get from Social Security alone. The military retiree medical program is my supplement to Medicare.
If Social Security is privatized will my benefits be reduced or increased, will the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) still be applied? What about Medicare? Will the military retiree supplement still be available (retirees were promised medical care for life) relocation to be closer to a military base is not an option, on top of that will the military facilities be able to handle the increase of retirees? Besides it will be telling military retirees where they must live when they retire, my wife and I have returned to where our families lived when we retired. Will the insurance that we buy with the voucher accept the retiree supplement? How about pre-existing conditions, Parkinson’s definitely is a pre-existing condition and like most conditions such as these are very expensive to treat, will the insurance cover that?
Too many questions and not enough answers. The main reason that answers are slow in coming or even non-existent, in my humble opinion, because those who want to change all of this don’t know the answers themselves. Playing it by ear is not good enough.