Medicare: Mend It, Don’t End It

Posted by | August 15, 2011 12:58 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

The gut reaction by many on the left is to protect Medicare from negotiations on the deficit and debt ceiling.  The problem is that Medicare is in trouble in the near future and will require some changes.  This is not because it is a ponzi scheme, as described by Governor Perry, but rather because of the demographic changes in U.S. society and because of the rising cost of medical care.  One of the best progressive arguments for changes to Medicare was written by DemFromCT (read the whole piece)

The bottom line is that there will have to be adjustments made to Medicare (and easier, but necessary, adjustments made to Social Security.) That’s simply not debatable. Therefore, the political question isn’t why Medicare and Social Security are on the table, it’s whom do we trust to do it in a way that preserves the programs and protects the elderly?

This frames the choice in 2012 much more clearly.  Assuming the dysfunctional House GOP prevents a Medicare solution in 2011-2012, do we want a president dedicated to preserving Social Security and Medicare or one who calls them a ponzi scheme?

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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