I guess I picked a great time to come out of the "political" closet and start waving my "I'm not going to take it anymore" banner.
If you haven't heard, they have supposedly revamped the www.healthcare.gov website and now you can review, pick and choose "at will" the available insurance programs and sub-programs without having to spend hours giving the government all of your vital financial, personal and economic information before you can be "worthy" to put your life in hock to the future of our national insurance program.
Isn't this wonderful news that the insurance marketplace website has been revamped and has a useful purpose now.
Well, I for one don't believe it.
I did log onto the first page and it looked the same.
Same smiling "not so Caucasian" and maybe part of the right wing majority young lady's face as before.
I click on "Apply Online" just as before and just as before it asks me for the state I live in.
Just as before I click on "Let's Get Started" and just as before it takes me to an all too familiar screen asking me to begin entering my personal information to create a "Marketplace Account".
"One Moment Please"
I am outta here !!!
What if this is still another way the government is using to take our eyes off the ball?
Then, as I am leafing though a "borrowed" issue of USA today it hits me.
Let me ask you this.............................
"What is supposedly causing Obama to fervidly press on with his healthcare initiative in the face of overwhelming opposition and a myriad of process breakdowns and website malfunctions?"
Could it be that better medical care and longer lives are forcing a reconfiguration in health care policy?
Without a doubt.
And could it be that Medicare has become a pay-as-you-go system, which cannot be maintained?
Hey batter, batter......Hey batter, batter............................SWING !!!
That's right, all of this "good news" has caused us to take our eyes off the ball.
While all of the health policy attention has been focused on the Affordable Care Act's website problems, a true and more painful issue is being ignored — the sustainability of Social Security and the Medicare/Medicaid program.
Here is an ever present and deepening problem that is going to affect our lives in a big way over the next 20 years if it hasn't begun to already.
I promise you all that I am going to make another valiant attempt at the insurance marketplace tomorrow but only when I am well rested, showered, had a big breakfast and have a full pot of hot coffee next to me.
Analysts know that the bloat of beneficiaries born between 1946-64 is bulging to a huge proportion now and into the next decade and the government and the economy can do nothing to control the program's rising costs.
In fact, the huge demographic bulge will only be exacerbated by the trend of our increasing life expectancies.
That's right, we are going to be major league screwed for bad planning (has anyone noticed all of the baseball analogies I am using today?)
Well, it wasn't actually bad planning.
The government just bold-faced raped and pillaged the Social Security System to pay off their other debts but that is a story for another day
Yep, better medical care and longer lives are forcing a reconfiguration in health care policy.
Did you know that the number of Medicare beneficiaries today is rapidly approaching 50 million?
So what do we got?
We will have a dwindling workforce paying for a 20th century program in 21st century realities.
And nobody in our government in the past 20 years has stood up and said "Hey, we need to be prepared".
If they have, we sure as hell wouldn't hear about it and the poor souls have probably been exiled to some far off island in the Pacific to head up a study on whether the professor really did have the technical capabilities to repair the boat on Gilligan's Island with coconuts and seaweed.
Either tax receipts from the current year or new federal debt currently pay for Medicare benefits.
Unless something is done to curb spending, the financial weight on each subsequent generation of workers will expand until the system buckles.
The ratio of workers to beneficiaries is falling precariously.
Last year, every beneficiary had 3.3 workers to pay for benefits.
In 2030, 2.3 workers will have the burden.
When Medicare was established in 1965, a man who was 65 at that time would have a life expectancy of 78 and a woman, 81.
Today, on average, a man reaching age 65 can be expected to live until 83, women until 85.
Also, health care costs have grown at more than double workers' income from 1999 to 2009.
Based on this, how would workers fare when there are only 2.1 workers paying for each older beneficiary?
It's the top of the 9th folks and the bullpen is empty.
The annual cost of an average Medicare beneficiary net of premiums is $9,500.
When Social Security is added to the package, this older American is receiving about $23,500 in benefits a year.
Split between slightly more than two workers, each would shoulder about $11,190.
With an average, middle-quintile worker earning $52,000 annually, a 21.5% tax levy would be required to pay for the burden of senior entitlements.
Today, this middle-quintile worker pays about 14% ($7,280) of his or her annual salary in a combination of income, Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund taxes.
Escalating that rate to pay for the cost of these entitlements could have dire consequences on a worker's family security and economic future.
Unless entitlements are reformed, the only alternative is to further drive up the national debt.
And we all know that President Obama loves that tactic.
It's like the Boston Red Sox are losing to St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series game 7 and they declare that it's best out of 10 games not 7.
If it's not working for Boston after 10 games then let's make it 15.
Boston is bound to win eventually right?
I know..........Obamacare HealthCare Exchanges "guarantee" access to insurance.
But at what costs?
I will find out for you sooner or later.
I bet you if every governor, senator, house representative, council member, sub-committee chairman, economic adviser, commissioner, mayor, freeholder, aldermen, and pork belly politician took a 10% pay cut and were forced to follow the same insurance guidelines as the general US population then there would be ample funds to replenish not only the Social security Administration but other useful programs as well.
First things first, Obama needs to fix the Medicare program and give it a sustainable life.
Then we should worry about websites.
Thanks for joining me...........................................................