Republican Plan to End Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - by Stephen Lendman
Public rhetoric obscures important facts about these plans politicians won't discuss in their zeal to end them incrementally.
Medicaid is welfare for low-income beneficiaries, jointly funded by the states and Washington, managed at the state level.
Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify. However, you'd never know it the way both programs are publicly discussed, explaining everything but the truth.
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act became law, known as the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI). It provides retirement, disability, survivorship, and death benefits. It's still America's most effective poverty reduction program that's worked remarkably well since inception. It exists to provide secure inflation-adjusted retirement or disability income, unlike risking personal savings to create private wealth and perhaps lose it.
Despite bogus claims, it's not going bankrupt. When properly administered, it's sound and secure, needing only modest adjustments at times to assure it.
On July 30, 1965, Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security (Medicare) Act into law, enrolling Harry and Bess Truman as its first recipients.
Medicare.gov calls it "the nation's largest health insurance program," covering 40 million Americans. It's a "Health Insurance program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant)."
Bipartisan complicity wants Medicare and Social Security ended, citing the nation's burgeoning debt and enormous unfunded liabilities for both programs. The web site usdebtclock.org lists them as follows:
(1) the US National Debt: over $14 trillion;
(2) Social Security Liability: nearly $15 trillion;
(3) Prescription Drug Liability: nearly $20 trillion; and
(4) Medicare Liability: nearly $79 trillion.
Total: over $113 trillion plus the National Debt.
Most important is that future liabilities mask today's soundness that can stay that way if current programs are properly administered. That's omitted from hyped scare tactics to convince future recipients to make unjustifiable sacrifices. Like them or not, they're coming, major media reports promoting the idea as well as politicians from both parties.
Republicans, in fact, always opposed these programs. Given unsustainable deficits from out-of-control military spending and corporate handouts, they now see a chance to end them by a combination of cuts, shifting cost burdens to states and beneficiaries, plus lots of smoke and mirrors. Key is that Democrats concur, despite softer public rhetoric, appealing to constituencies while betraying them behind closed doors, Obama a duplicitous co-conspirator.