Social Security and Medicare

We have a shared responsibility to protect Social Security and Medicare. These benefits are earned through decades of honest work. If these earned Social Security or Medicare benefits were to be sharply cut, most older people on fixed incomes are not going to have reasonable options. Yet, many are crying that the sky is falling and the system must fail. They are only correct if we don’t have the determination and foresight to prepare for the future.

There are a number of approaches to support the solid continuation of Social Security benefits for the lifetime of every American alive today. The simplest way would be to collect Social Security tax on all income, not just income less than $117,000. That would make up a large part of the projected shortfall. Expanding coverage to as many workers as possible would also help. Other minor changes might also be necessary to completely cover the shortfall. We must make some changes to insure the younger generation is confident that Social Security will be there for them when their time comes. To do so will confirm the social contract between generations which makes Social Security so successful.

Funding of Medicare is a more complex issue and is likely to require more complex solutions which must reach beyond partisanship. Whatever those solutions might be, I will not support turning Medicare into a voucher program where those with money can add to their vouchers to buy adequate health care while those without money are simply left to wither in the dark.

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