by Carl Dye, Independent Insurance Broker
Debunking the Myths and Mysteries of Medicare
All too often we hear our elected officials bemoaning the COST of Social Security and Medicare and how it is unsustainable as our senior population continues to live longer. In fact, they are continually talking about these programs running out of money and just how can we pay for these programs?
If we still taught history in our public school systems, everyone would know these programs were put into place for guaranteeing security for Americans in their later years. To achieve this end, the people paid into a retirement plan and then a medical plan to provide for us during our golden years. Therefore, we paid for these benefits on each and every paycheck throughout our working years. Thus, as contributors to our retirement plan, we should expect our elected officials to do due diligence in handling our investments.
So what happened to our nest egg? There are myriad stories detailing the misuse of these funds. Some are surely true, while others may be just figments of the imagination. However, it is a fact there has been egregious misuse of these monies over the years. Most recently, some $750 billion was transferred from Medicare Advantage plans to fund the Affordable Care Act and may well be the primary reason we may lose these plans in the coming years. These HMOs, PPOs, PFFSs, and PDPs, to mention a few, are the most affordable ways for many to have quality health insurance. In effect, we are transferring benefits from the seniors in our country to the newly arrived and high-risk insureds. This is the equivalent of robbing Peter to pay Paul, and is not the way we are required to handle our personal finances—so why should our government be allowed to act so irresponsibly?
To add insult to injury, while squandering our retirement monies in various ways, these same elected rulers of our country have created the absolute best retirement plans for themselves, to include a lifetime pension and complete health-insurance program. All this is available after one term of as little as two years and all paid for by your tax dollars! It would appear that true representatives of the people would ask for no more in benefits than those being offered their constituents! Is this really too much to ask of those chosen by us, the American people?
This is not intended to be a political statement, but rather a call to arms for those of us who have done our duty over the years to provide for our security in the later years of our lives. It is something discussed around the water coolers and pot-bellied stoves all around this magnificent country on a daily basis. Unfortunately there appears to be little impact on those already in power and when we send new folks to represent us, it is only a short time before they, too, fall into the built-in corruption of the system. While Benjamin Franklin reflects more on the voting public, the same thought process can be applied to those elected!
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
― Benjamin Franklin
In summary, these thoughts are to encourage all of us depending on these programs, not only for our generations, but for those of our children and grandchildren, to be fully aware it may be our responsibility to bring about some of the corrections necessary to secure the future for ALL Americans!
As in the past, your questions and concerns or disagreements are encouraged. The Medicare program is an excellent health plan for all over time and needs our attention to assuring its longevity. If this article has created an interest in learning and doing more to retain this coverage for generations to come, perhaps I have done my job!
I truly hope you readers will email or call me with specific questions and/or concerns that have bothered you—either recently or in the past—on which you would like to read clarifications in following write-ups.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (928) 245-1388. I look forward to hearing from you in the coming months and truly believe that, together, we can overcome some, if not all, the myths and mysteries of Medicare.