This graph of the number of workers who receive disability payments is pretty shocking.
"The program costs $200 billion per year when you add in cost of Medicare. It’s basically almost $2,000 per household, per year,"
I used this website to get some statistics on how common various disabilities are. 12.1% of americans are disabled. 2.3% have a visual disability. 3.5% have a hearing disability. 6.9% have an ambulatory disability. 4.8% have a cognitive disability. 2.6% have a self-care disability (A person with a physical, mental, or emotional condition lasting six months or more, who has difficulty dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home). 5.5% have an independent living disability.
“Though the benefits are relatively modest — only about $1,000 a month — getting approved for disability can be a difficult process of appeals and hearings that typically lasts a year or more. Few who have qualified want to risk those benefits for a job that might not last.”
So people are essentially choosing to remain disabled when they could work - which brings up an interesting dilemma.
The average 56-year-old couple pays about $140,000 into the Medicare system over a lifetime and receives about $430,000 in benefits back. The program is also completely unaffordable. Medicare has unfinanced liabilities of more than $30 trillion.
This is such a great article….more nuggets:
Some Democrats simply want to do nothing as Medicare careens toward bankruptcy. Last Sunday on “Face the Nation,” for example, Nancy Pelosi said, “I could never support any arrangement that reduced benefits for Medicare.”
Democrats generally seek to concentrate decision-making and cost-control power in the hands of centralized experts.
Republicans at their best are skeptical about top-down decision-making. They are skeptical that centralized experts can accurately predict costs. In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee projected that Medicare would cost $12 billion by 1990. It actually cost $110 billion.
It’s sad that medicare is such a massive problem and yet politicians are not forthright about the size and scope of the problem.
Start watching 1 minute in.
I don’t agree with everything about Paul Ryan’s plan - in fact I don’t agree with a lot of it. However, he does a great job of explaining why medicare needs change, and why Obama’s plan has some flaws.
He points out the 2 key problems with medicare. First, consumers have no incentive to try to reduce their own health care expenditures since their spending has no economic consequences for them - it’s paid entirely by others. Second there is no competition so doctors have no incentive to provide better care at a better price, since medicare is essentially a price setter.
The Path to Prosperity (Episode 2): Saving Medicare, Visualized (by HouseBudgetCommittee)