Congress Agrees on a Tax Bill. What Does Proposed Tax Bill Mean for Older Americans? Learn More.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

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Message 1 of 36

KrisBKringle wrote:

Simply eliminate the social security tax cap on wages, or any other earned income (for those people that are able to hide wage income). People will complain for a minute. However, the percentage for employee and employer contributions to social security wage tax would be able to be substantiably reduced, and there still would be tons of money to cover beneficiaries forever. The Congress is afraid - as this initially would look like a "tax increase". Let impartial accountants run the numbers to find the sweet spot to reduce the current wage tax rates, once this was implimented.

 

Remember Social Security is NOT an entitlement. People pay into it like and insurance product, expecting return on their investment. (And again as I wrote - Paul Ryan and his family benefited from Social Security when his Dad died. As I said before that is OK. That is what it is for. Why does he want to hurt people who need it, like he needed it? Why can't he and the others in congress have the guts to improve it not destroy it? Is it because the lobbyist who sell annuities want it privatized?)


The SS earnings cap goes up every year when there is a COLA increase.

Raising the cap in some more rapid manner does very little IF benefits are also raised, which is the way the program works now.

 

Raising the cap but limiting the benefit will turn the program into just a welfare program.  Talk about changing the program - that is certainly not what it was designed to be although it does prevent people from falling too far into poverty especially if they have considered it, as they should, one part of the retirement wheel. 

 

I'd be interested in knowing how you come up with your facts when you say this:

"However, the percentage for employee and employer contributions to social security wage tax would be able to be substantiably reduced, and there still would be tons of money to cover beneficiaries forever."

That is definitely not what the analysis shows by many actuarials -

 

Read some of the proposals put forth and the CBO's analysis of them - again, if benefits are raised as a result of higher contributions by raising the cap (2018 SS earnings cap $ 128,400), this concept does little - it only does a good bit IF the cap is raised with NO benefit modification.

 

Social Security - Actuarial Data - Proposals Affecting Trust Fund Solvency

 

CBO: What Are Some Options for Changing Social Security?

In a 2015 report, CBO considered 36 policy options that are among those commonly proposed by policymakers and analysts, divided into five groups according to the elements of the Social Security program that they would modify:

  • The taxation of earnings,
  • The benefit formula,
  • The full retirement age,
  • Cost-of-living adjustments, and
  • Benefits for specific groups.

 

. . . . By itself, no individual option that CBO examined would create long-term stability for the Social Security program (see the figure below). Some options would affect all workers or beneficiaries similarly; others would have widely disparate effects, depending on a beneficiary’s year of birth or lifetime earnings. The effects of many of the options could be changed if they were implemented at a larger or smaller scale or phased in more slowly or quickly, although the resulting effects would not necessarily be proportional to the results presented in the report. If the goal was to address Social Security’s long-term imbalance, it would be necessary to combine several of the options that CBO analyzed. However, the effects of several policy changes implemented together are not always equal to the sum of the individual effects of those policy changes.

 

Think you should look up the definition of the word "entitlement" - as I hope you know a word has several meanings - In government speak, it only means that a benefit has been defined by law.

 
Definition of entitlement
1 a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
2 : a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program
3 : belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges
 
There are only (2) ways to fix Social Security and for that matter, Medicare too.
1.  Increase the revenues
2.  Reduce the cost
Most likely some combination of the two will have to be used to fix both of them for the long-term.
 
 
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Info Seeker

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

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Message 2 of 36

Simply eliminate the social security tax cap on wages, or any other earned income (for those people that are able to hide wage income). People will complain for a minute. However, the percentage for employee and employer contributions to social security wage tax would be able to be substantiably reduced, and there still would be tons of money to cover beneficiaries forever. The Congress is afraid - as this initially would look like a "tax increase". Let impartial accountants run the numbers to find the sweet spot to reduce the current wage tax rates, once this was implimented.

 

Remember Social Security is NOT an entitlement. People pay into it like and insurance product, expecting return on their investment. (And again as I wrote - Paul Ryan and his family benefited from Social Security when his Dad died. As I said before that is OK. That is what it is for. Why does he want to hurt people who need it, like he needed it? Why can't he and the others in congress have the guts to improve it not destroy it? Is it because the lobbyist who sell annuities want it privatized?)

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

170 Views
Message 3 of 36

Just askin', ReTiReD51 

 

What do you think should be done to fix Medicare for the long term - all its parts but specifically Part A which is in the worse shape financially because on the others, Part B and Part D, an increase in premiums based on the cost of the programs can always be done.

 

Medicare Part A has an insolvency date of 2029 according to the 2017 Trustee Report.  It has always been a pay as you go program, meaning the payroll taxes of current workers pay the benefit cost of those who are using Medicare Part A.

 

We have fewer workers today paying payroll taxes to support the program for several reasons - population numbers between the generations, automation, jobs going elsewhere in the world, to name a few.

 

We do have to do something - 

Reducing cost which should be done, but how?

Increasing the Medicare age of eligibility to correspond more to FRA of SS?

Increasing the payroll taxes for Medicare Part A for current and future earners?

 

People reaching 65 have continued to enrollee in Medicare Advantage plans at good pace - I believe it is over 30% of all Medicare beneficiaries who are getting their benefits via this route rather than original Medicare.  

 

 i would be interest in your ideas or those of anybody else joining into this discussion.  To Me, no doubt changes are coming to Medicare if we want the system to continue into the future.

 

As always there are only certain directions that change can go -

Increase Revenues - Reduce Cost

 

 

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Recognized Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

180 Views
Message 4 of 36

“Remember the story of the Democratic and Republican parties having a convention at your hotel.”

 

Do you remember the story of how the republicans have always promised to privatize Social security and gut Medicare first chance they get? Well they got that chance now with a republican controlled House, a Republican controlled Senate and the Donald. And come to find out it’s not a story it’s a fact.

 

Here it is in black and white the GOP plan for Medicare:

https://abetterway.speaker.gov/_assets/pdf/ABetterWay-HealthCare-PolicyPaper.pdf

 

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Conversationalist

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

194 Views
Message 5 of 36

Remember the story of the Democratic and Republican parties having a convention at your hotel.  The Democrats steal the silverware and the Republicans steal the hotel.

 

Any yet people vote against their interests continually and habitually.  We could also talk about Gerrymandering, the voter suppression laws, the "Commission" started by Trump to investigate the "millions of illegal votes" during the 2016 election.  Of course that Commission is headed by an expert vote suppressor (see the papers peeking out from a folder he was carrying when he was photographed with Comrade Trump).

 

This is not a joke, and it will not end pretty. VOTE EACH AND EVERY ELECTION!!!

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

204 Views
Message 6 of 36

ro46775798 wrote:
Disabled Vets not yet eligible for Medicare DEPEND on Tri-Care. It provides quality healthcare coverage at civilian facilities up to the deadline for signing up for Medicare at age 70. Respectfully,

RO
USMC-Ret.

Respecfully - Actually, that is not quite right - Disabled Veterans who are eligible based on their service depend on the VA health system.  Some may never even use Medicare at all -

 

Tri-care is for active military and retirees from the mmilitary - It works with Medicare when you turn 65. TRICARE is a health benefit program for all seven uniformed services: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To use TRICARE, you must be listed in DEERS as being eligible for military health care benefits.

 

A Disabled Veteran is not always eligible for TriCare because many of them may have just served during a speciifc conflict or wartime - they did not stay in the military for an extended length of time.

 

Tricare and the VA Health Care System are two completely different government programs for different classifications of people -

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Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

225 Views
Message 7 of 36

I wasn't talking about those who are in the military.  I was talking about the rest of us.  Medicare has worked for seniors since 1966 I believe and it will continue to work if it is fixed instead of robbed.  As it stands any kind of medical care is going to be decreased with this supposed tax reform bill.  but they haven't told you what personal projects in their own states that they've included in it.  These politicians never tell you the truth.  We're in deep, deep trouble if it goes through.  Single seniors especially, the so-called doubling instead costs me $700 so I'm in the red zone already.  Raise the tax rate from $0 to 12% also puts me in the position of paying more.  The wealthy are just going to turn around and deposit their windfalls into their offshore accounts or into automation costing millions and millions of jobs in this country.  We can't allow the current administration to make this country a welfare country.

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Info Seeker

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

227 Views
Message 8 of 36
In the meantime, Ryan et al enjoy premium lifetime healthcare at taxpayers' expense...
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Info Seeker

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

229 Views
Message 9 of 36
Disabled Vets not yet eligible for Medicare DEPEND on Tri-Care. It provides quality healthcare coverage at civilian facilities up to the deadline for signing up for Medicare at age 70. Respectfully,

RO
USMC-Ret.
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Recognized Social Butterfly

Re: Changes Coming To Medicare?

242 Views
Message 10 of 36

MaVolta wrote:

ReTiReD51 wrote:

 

“Our policy would begin in fiscal year 2020. It would combine Medicare Parts A and B and would have a unified deductible. For example, rather than require the $1,288 deductible for a hospital stay and a separate $166 deductible for a physician visit, the beneficiary would be charged a combined deductible.”

 

 

 


Also, according Ryan, all Medicare Supplemental policies will be required to have a deductible. This is because Ryan says us older folks are going to the doctor too often, and when it's not really necessary. The deductibles will ensure that we go only if we absolutely must, or if we can afford it. 


If deductibles are combined as the Paul Ryan/GOP plan requires, in 2018 dollars that would mean a Medicare recipient would have to pay the first $1523 before Medicare starts paying.

 

Part B deductible plus part A deductible … $183 + $1340 = $1523

 

For seniors on fixed incomes that’s a lot of money. And for seniors who only visit the doctor a couple of times a year, Medicare will never have to pay out anything it’ll all come out of a seniors own pocket.

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