Who won the final debate? - Page 14 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #131 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:48 PM
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post #132 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:52 PM
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The scope of the issue is this: the 100,000,000 or however many baby-boomers there are, who have paid into this system their whole lives and are relying on it as part of their retirement over the next 20-30 years, will put a strain on Medicare that cannot be met by funding. The Medicare issue is logarithmically more troublesome than the upcoming SSI issue. I see only two possible avenues to take. One involves nationalizing health care, the other involves a hearty "f**k you" to 100,000,000 Americans.

And remember, to scrap Medicare, you have to start by eliminating contributions. The entire process will take more than a generation.
I know I am hearing an echo.

This is the essence of what I have been saying for years. Once the Baby Boomers hit the rolls [NOW] the system is going to melt unless we completely redefine the entire system.

And you are correct. We have been paying into the system for decades. Congresses have used the money to shore up budgets and play with accounting so there is no longer the "lockbox" of cash growing and waiting to fund this massive project. And MASSIVE is the key word.

So anyone that thinks that we can simply blow off a redesign of our healthcare system is incredibly naive. There is simply nothing available to support the SSI/Medicare/Medicaid system [paid by taxpayers for decades] since Congress "borrowed" the money to balance the budget as deficits started in the 1980s.

Right now there is a projection that Medicare is going to cost between $40 and 50 TRILLION over the next 35 years. That is 3-4X this years GDP.

While fraud is a "few billion" finding it all in stopping it will not touch the problem.

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post #133 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:53 PM
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Bear, that is simply a long Yes to my question.
Not at all...well, unless you only see things in Black and White.

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post #134 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 07:54 PM
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Sure wish we hadn't started that program to begin with . . .

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post #135 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 08:03 PM
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Not at all...well, unless you only see things in Black and White.
We all see things in black and white, Bear. My black may not equal your black, but we each have our set of values.

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post #136 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Sure wish we hadn't started that program to begin with . . .
Couldn't agree more, it's an absolute disaster, but what now?

And how the hell do we un-nationalize health care once the crisis has passed?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #137 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 08:21 PM
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Couldn't agree more, it's an absolute disaster, but what now?

And how the hell do we un-nationalize health care once the crisis has passed?
I dunno . . . sure wish there was a systems analyst around . . .

When these systems started, there were beneficiaries who hadn't paid into them, so any "weaning" plan will involve paying without benefits if we are to do it. Not fair . . .

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post #138 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 09:25 PM
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We all see things in black and white, Bear. My black may not equal your black, but we each have our set of values.
That's just it, I see such a variety of solutions [shades of gray]for most problems. It is why I get so frustrated when something that is so obviously no where near Z get labeled Z simply because it isn't A.

Maybe it is simply my profession but I don't think so. I think it is the mindset of optimism that says that there is A solution and it will be found.

Using our current discussion as the example, there are so many ways to improve this country, and ALL of its people without going anywhere near any of the terms of Socialism that the mind boggles. Do some require government action, YES. Is that Socialism, NO.

There are just to many variables between A and Z to look at the solutions for this country in Black and White.

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post #139 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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Trust me, Z knows that there's next to nothing in the current political and economic infrastructure that resembles socialism, or Z's A, for that matter.
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post #140 of 162 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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I dunno . . . sure wish there was a systems analyst around . . .

When these systems started, there were beneficiaries who hadn't paid into them, so any "weaning" plan will involve paying without benefits if we are to do it. Not fair . . .
We are already moving toward a weaning. Unless you have a supplement to Medicare there is a good chance you will be bankrupt with a serious illness. Medicare just doesn't cover everything anymore.

But the solution to the $36T in ALREADY committed projections is simply going to have to be management of the system. And by that I do NOT mean Nationalization of the Healthcare system. Right now insurance companies, hospitals, medicare, doctors and corporations have a pretty good process going. It needs regulated to bring down costs. It needs limits on lawsuits and it needs promises that if you are sick, the insurance company will not give you shit. That is simple regulatory action that would not be hard to implement and would not cost jack.

The next part is providing insurance companies with the carrot of lawsuit protection with the stick of requiring them to ACCEPT any applicant who will pay into the system, either through their company or through a government pool [the Fed System]. For all but 15-25 Million Americans or so the solution is covered with no real taxpayer cost, other than regulations and the whining from all the participants regarding that.

That leaves the same 5-10% of Americans that we need to deal with for everything else, from crime to foodstamps to housing to education. Since folks get pissed if we simply gas them we need to find a solution that starts improving THEIR lives which starts reducing their numbers. It will be a generational thing.

But then again, so is the load from the Boomers. By 2040, if folks plan right, the grandkids might have a better life because of our consideration. Or they might not if we let problems fester.

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