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Medicare is bad enough

Posted: August 30, 2009 10:26 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Jim McElvain ("Why reform health care?" in The Signal, Aug. 21) asks why we don't simply expand Medicare to cover everyone "from day one instead of 62 or 65."

Well, gee whiz, Jim. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Medicare is flat broke and getting worse. In fact, it's in even worse shape than Social Security.

Medicare is running at an annual deficit measured in billions upon billions of dollars that we don't have, and are instead borrowing from our children's future.

In fact, the current unfunded liabilities in the Medicare program are $85 trillion, more than six times the annual output of the entire U.S. economy.

In other words, Medicare is what you get when you put the government in charge of anything: unworkable promises, worsening service, bureaucratic waste and unsustainable hemorrhaging of cash.

So tell me, Jim - should we expand Medicare by 10 or 20 times to cover everyone and consign our nation to bankruptcy like some third-world country?

If you still think so, then let me ask you a simpler question. If your doctor were slowly poisoning you, what kind of fool would you have to be to keep taking his same prescription - and ask for 10 times the dose?

I wonder what health care would be like if we treated health insurance like homeowner's insurance - only coming into play for the catastrophic.

Put differently, how expensive would homeowner's insurance be if it had to pay every time we had someone mow our lawn?


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