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View Diary: Durbin takes Social Security off the table (216 comments)

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  •  Another point (8+ / 0-)

    I've been hearing more and more lately this meme about how seniors shouldn't really worry about whether the retirement age for Medicare is increased because Obamacare will now give them guaranteed access to decent and affordable health insurance. A corollary to that (that I've not yet heard but wouldn't be surprised if it soon started making the rounds as well) is that even increasing the retirement age for Social Security isn't a big deal because poor seniors can always get food stamps and other government aid to bridge the retirement gap.

    The problem with these justifications for raising the retirement age is that it only applies to the truly poor, who would qualify for Medicaid, SSI, food stamps and such to help pay for what Medicare and Social Security would otherwise pay in the extra couple of years they'd now have to wait until they can qualify for these programs. And even then, the level of medical care and purchasing options they'd have would be reduced, because as I understand it Medicaid isn't as good as Medicare in terms of the range and quality of providers you get, and food stamps only allow you to buy food, not pay for rent or clothes or utilities.

    And this wouldn't apply to seniors who while not rich, are also not poor enough to qualify for such programs, forcing them to liquidate their modest assets when they should least have to and can no longer replenish them. There's a reason it's called Social Security, not Social Survival, and Medicare, not Medihelp.

    Let the other side drone on about the evils of socialism and the welfare state. I don't care, and neither does the public anymore. The welfare state is here to stay, it needs to grow, and it's one of the best things we've ever created. And done right, it's actually good for the economy, not a drain on it.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:53:21 AM PST

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