Government

Waste, fraud and no budget … shoot the messenger. Let’s get Paul Ryan😡

Speaker Ryan gets vilified because he wants to “cut SS, Medicare, & Medicaid” or more accurately reign in the costs. You may agree or not, but if not, do you care about the rampant participant and provider fraud and errors that waste money?

12% of all Medicaid spending is fraud. Between Medicare and Medicaid the fraud is in the tens of billions of dollars each year; some sources say nearly $200 billion in combined losses. And both are open ended; there are no spending limits. And of course, there are those honest Americans who hide their assets so that Medicaid will pay nursing home bills. There are lawyers who specialize in that effort.

Social Security is another matter, it’s just running out of money; period. But even there fraud is no small matter, but much subtler. Social Security disability has its own problems. In 2009 claims spiked and again in 2010 and 2011. People ran out of unemployment benefits for which you were supposed to be able and willing to work and immediately turned to SSD for which you are not able to work. Once on disability few people get off; an average of about 8% over the last 12 years. In 2003 there were 5.3 million on SSD in 2017 there were 8.7 million (of which most were also receiving Medicare).

SO THIS IS THE QUESTION. Do we care about any of this? If yes, what do we do? If no, then we simply keep increasing the national debt or taxes on all Americans thereby making it more difficult for many Americans to take care of their own financial futures.

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3 replies »

  1. During the last presidential election neither major candidate talked about the impending fiscal disaster of Social Security and Medicare. Few in the House or Senate make much noise about it. Voters who will most be affected by the inevitable drastic tax increases, those voters younger than fifty, seem to be unconcerned. Unless they are Bernie fans. He, in his role as the Wizard of Vermont, promises an expansion in benefits. There is little doubt that the system will be “fixed”. And no doubt it will be all the more drastic in its effects the longer it gets done.

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    • We will hear the noise from Washington DC in the year 2032 (give or take a year) after the SSA announces cuts to the monthly checks, and then congress will do something. Only after they can no longer kick the can down the road. I am not betting that they will do the right thing or a permanent thing to fix the problem. My guess is that they just might make it worse.

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