Tag Archives: Medicare

David Davenport: The Elephant In The Policy Room


You would never know this listening to presidential candidates but Social Security, in crisis mode for a while, will begin paying out more than it takes in next year. The reserve fund will be depleted in 16 years, meaning seniors would face 20 percent cuts in their payments.

Roughly half of Americans rely on Social Security for most of their retirement income. And with baby boomers retiring and living longer, the numbers will only get worse.

While Democrats talk about welfare and socialism, and Republicans love their tax cuts, we still need to pay for the entitlements we already have such as Social Security and Medicare.

Fixing this will take several things Washington hardly does anymore: exercise fiscal discipline, debate and deliberate, and come to some kind of bipartisan agreement.

Party line vote—the new normal in Washington—will not do the trick

Social Security needs a fix.

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Michael Medved: Altering America Beyond Recognition

Every election, candidates claim: “This is the most important election of our lifetime” but that’s generally untrue. For better or worse, no President since Reagan has profoundly transformed the country, but 2020 could well be different.

Democrats seem determined to run on a radical, irresponsible platform that includes the Green New Deal, race-based reparations, Medicare for all, “soak the rich” Tax hikes, and free pre-school and college. Such programs would bring a vast expansion of the welfare state, strangling growth and swelling budget deficits.

Even worse, Democrats seek permanent rule by discarding the Electoral College, packing the Supreme Court, and destroying conservative media with some version of the discredited “fairness doctrine.” They also seek instant statehood for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico—guaranteeing four new Democratic Senators. If Democrats sweep both White House and Senate next year, America could be altered beyond recognition – perhaps beyond recovery.

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The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts

Compromise

Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

 

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.

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Lanhee Chen: The Bernie Plan: Too Good to Be True

Tax Reform

Senator Bernie Sanders has recently introduced “Medicare for all” legislation, which would enroll all Americans into the nation’s Medicare program within four years. Senator Sanders argues that his proposal would create a system that “works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.”

As Democrats and other policy makers debate the merits of Senator Sanders’s proposal, here are a few important observations about international systems that they ought to consider.

First, a vanishingly small number of countries actually have single-payer systems. In fact, almost all feature some role for private-sector insurance companies and providers.

Second, single-payer countries have also failed to control rising health care costs. This is important, given that Mr. Sanders’s proposal was released without a cost estimate or financing plan.

Third, it is simply untrue that single-payer systems produce a better quality of care across the board.

All Americans should bear one important precept in mind: If the Sanders plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information on why single-payer healthcare would be destructive to the U.S, please read this article, 13 Reasons Why Single-Payer Would Be a Disaster.

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