Tag Archives: medicare

Will the Real 1% Please Stand Up?

1 Jan

Wayne Allyn Root (more about him below the extract) has written an interesting piece titled “Government Employees – the True 1 Percent” in which he identifies what appears to him to be the fourth problematic “entitlement” (along with the normally-mentioned Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) that must be addressed to return to national fiscal sanity.  The lead-in paragraphs are below, but the entire essay may be found at

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/02/government-employees-true-1-percent/

Excerpt:   [bolding is mine]

How did America become broke and insolvent? How did we build up an unimaginable $115 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities? How did we allow the American Dream to become a nightmare?

All we need do is look at the primary demand the Eurozone and IMF are placing on hopelessly bankrupt Greece to get their new $170 Billion bailout — Greece has agreed to cut 150,000 government employees. Even Cuba’s leader Raul Castro recognizes government employees are at the root of economic destruction, as he is cutting over 2 million of them to save Cuba from bankruptcy.

The truth is that government employees are the true 1%. We have far too many of them (21 million), many of them are paid too much, and their union demands are straining taxpayers to the breaking point.

They have become a privileged class that expects to be treated superior to the taxpayers — the same folks who pay their salaries and pensions. But it is their obscene pensions that are the big problem moving forward for America.

..  .  .  . 

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: http://www.ROOTforAmerica.com.

Wayne Allyn Root is capitalist evangelist, entrepreneur, and Tea Party Libertarian Republican. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” For more, visit his website: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.

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Lies and Fallout re: Obamacare and Medicare

23 Oct

In a recent column titled “Companies Are Evil, So It’s OK to Lie about Them”, Mona Charen focuses some well-deserved attention on Obamacare.  Excerpts from her piece follow.  The entire column can be found at http://www.creators.com/opinion/mona-charen/companies-are-evil-so-it-s-ok-to-lie-about-them.html

Excerpts:   [Emphasis is mine]

Obamacare was designed by people who believe passionately that private companies must be strictly controlled and regulated by Washington bureaucrats, who will run things far more humanely and even more efficiently. Mr. Obama cited the bogus statistic that Medicare has “lower administrative costs” than the private sector. This is specious. Medicare’s administrative costs are spread over several different agencies. The IRS collects the taxes that fund the program, the Social Security Administration collects some of the premiums paid by beneficiaries, and the Department of Health and Human Services handles accounting, auditing, fraud and other issues.

Additionally, Medicare’s population is older and sicker than the typical insurance pool. Their medical costs are accordingly higher, so as a percentage of total spending on the patient, Medicare’s per patient administrative costs will be smaller. But that isn’t because Medicare is more efficient.

This is not to say that insurance companies are virtuous. They are simply businesses, doing what makes sense for their customers and shareholders. It would never occur to Barack Obama that the best way to go after insurance companies whose behavior you dislike is to provide competitors. .  .  .

Any first-year economics student could have predicted what happened last week in response to one feature of the law. Obamacare requires that companies with 50 or more full-time employees provide health insurance or pay a fine. A restaurant chain that includes Olive Garden and Red Lobster (not one of the 1200 well-connected companies and unions who’ve received waivers) announced that it will be placing more of its 180,000 employees on part-time status — thereby diminishing the salaries of thousands of people.

The Obama Administration will perhaps regard this utterly predictable response (and this is just the beginning) as “jerking people around,” and may, if reelected, issue regulations making it illegal to change an employee’s status from full-time to part-time. That’s how statists operate. Try firing someone in France — which is why jobs are so scarce in France.

And so it will go, with the federal government chasing after private industry with more and more restrictions and penalties — never seeing that they are circling the drain.

[End of excerpt]

Well said.

Are We Even ABLE to Be Rational about Entitlements?

29 Aug

Thomas Sowell’s latest column, titled simply “Entitlement Reforms”, carries a more troubling sub-message regarding the rationality of human beings.  I interpret the message to be that either we are easily duped (not as smart as we think we are), or not nearly the rational thinkers we perceive ourselves to be.

 Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. 

 The full column can be found at http://www.creators.com/conservative/thomas-sowell.html

 Excerpts:   [Bolding is mine]

For those of us who like to believe that human beings are rational, trying to explain what happens in politics can be a real challenge.

For example, that segment of the population that has the least to fear from a reform of Medicare or Social Security is the most fearful — namely, those already receiving Medicare or Social Security benefits.

It is understandable that people heavily dependent on these programs would fear losing their benefits, especially after a lifetime of paying into these programs. But nobody in his right mind has even proposed taking away the benefits of those who are already receiving them.

Yet opponents of reforming these programs have managed repeatedly to scare the daylights out of seniors with wild claims and television ads such as one showing someone — who looks somewhat like Paul Ryan — pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair toward a cliff and then dumping her over.

There are people who take seriously such statements as those by President Barack Obama that Republicans want to “end Medicare as we know it.”

Let’s stop and think, if only for the novelty of it. If you make any change in anything, you are ending it “as we know it.” Does that mean that everything in the status quo should be considered to be set in concrete forever?

If there were not a single Republican, or none who got elected to any office, arithmetic would still end “Medicare as we know it,” for the simple reason that the money in the till is not enough to keep paying for it. The same is true of Social Security. 

.  .  .   .

It is today’s young people who are going to be left holding the bag when they reach retirement age and discover that all the money they paid in is long gone. It is today’s young people who are going to be dumped over a cliff when they reach retirement age, if nothing is done to reform entitlements.

Yet the young seem not to be nearly as alarmed as the elderly, who have no real reason to fear. Try reconciling that with the belief that human beings are rational.

 

Tell Me Again, Please, Why Medical Costs Are Going Up?

22 Jul

Could this be a significant part of the reason?  This chart was posted on Facebook by a friend who is a physician.