Speak up today to protect Medicare, Social Security

10 thoughts on “Speak up today to protect Medicare, Social Security”

      1. Oh, it’s not that – I’m not sure anyone in that position can/could actually do anything with Congress for the past decade – just not the same sort of statesmen with diplomatic skills, real willingness to compromise, and concern for the nation’s future anywhere in the capital.

  1. I’m not worried about any basic changes to Social Security or Medicare-Medicaid getting through the process. However, some adjustments are needed to make both safety net programs sustainable in the long run. If that can be done as part of the actions needed to reduce the federal deficit, I’m all for it, even if we elders have to take some minor hits.

    1. I can see raising the eligibility age by a year for those younger than, say, 50, and implementing some sort of means testing since the wealthy have no need for these programs. And I’m sure there’s a lot of bureaucratic waste and inefficiency that could/should be eliminated without affecting benefits. But I stand firmly against anything that would reduce benefits, including cuts in Medicare payments to doctors (which could cause my doctor to stop seeing Medicare patients like me). It’s tough to find a good doctor that you like and trust who will take Medicare patients. As it is, mine is non-par and could bill me quite a bit more than Medicare pays, although that hasn’t happened so far.

      1. I oppose raising the Social Security age above 65; there’s no need for that. Going to a federal “chained CPI” to make a very slight, at first, reduction in benefit increases would be wise because it also would help in other areas. I think raising Medicare eligibility one year would not hurt very many people, and would solve a lot of the sustainability problem. With Obamacare, we get lots more preventive medicine, and we certainly know how to lead healthier lives, so waiting a year for Medicare should not be a problem. I’me with you on not wanting any changes that force doctors out of the safety nets. My Doc takes Medicare patients, and I want to keep him.

      2. Oops, forgot an important point. Don’t doctors take a solemn oath to try to heal all who need healing? Do those who refuse Medicare or Medicare patients deserve our trust?

      3. Hmm, interesting point. I suppose I base my trust on my relationship and experience with the doctor. I really like my current doctor, but her group only takes a limited number of Medicare patients and is non-participating. Doesn’t change my feelings about her at all. My last doctor accepted Medicare but was a really lousy doctor. I wouldn’t judge any doctor based only on whether they accept Medicare. They aren’t exactly sworn to heal anyone and everyone; they are entitled to decide how they want to run their practices, whether they want to serve senior citizens, and whether they want to accept Medicare payments or not. Crass as it sounds, medicine is a business, not a charity.

      4. I wasn’t eligible for full SS benefits until I turned 66. My son won’t be eligible until he’s 67. It makes sense to me that as people live longer and work longer, that age could continue to be adjusted upward for both SS and Medicare, as long as Obamacare provides adequate coverage for those who find themselves unemployed but still not old enough for Medicare.

      5. Oops. Major lapse by me. Of course, the entry level for full social security already has been raised beyond 65. However, there really is no reason to raise it again. If the cap on earnings (now about $110,000) were eliminated and another minor adjustment such as the change in cost of living calculations was made, social security would be sustainable “as far as the eye can see.” as one former president was fond of saying about federal surpluses.

        I don’t think there is a good reason not to raise Medicare eligibility. As you point out that is assuming Obamacare provides a suitable safety net. It’s reasonable to assume it will.

... and that's my two cents