Former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell is promoting false information about Medicare to weaken support for it.
Former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell appeared Sept. 7 on Colbert to promote his book "A Nation of Wusses" in which he says "our leaders" are not brave enough to tell us the truth.
Starting at about 3:00 in the interview clip he gives his example of how the Democrats are not being honest. He claims that since Medicare was enacted in 1965 life expectancy has gone from 69 years to 85 years and that the program "was never meant to cover 20 years of retirement."
In reality, "Life Expectancy" in the US has only gone up from 70 to 78 since Medicare was enacted:
But "Life expectancy" isn't relevant. It includes the large number of people who die before they reach retirement age and never collect on Medicare.
The relevant figure is the additional life expectancy of people who do reach 65. In 1965 that was about 13.5years for men and 18 years for women
Today that is only up to 17 years for men 19.7 for women:
The years spent on Medicare have only gone up about 12% since 1965, not the 400% Ed Rendell is claiming.
Medicare was indeed meant to cover many more than 4 years of retirement.
Some change will need to be made to accommodate the small increase in years spent in retirement but a proper solution won't be found if influential Democrats are intentionally trying to create panic.
I'm sure Rendell is making the talk show rounds for his book and probably not getting challenged on this disinformation anymore than he did on the Colbert Show.