Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Medicare v. Social Security - The other Elephant in the room

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Medicare v. Social Security - The other Elephant in the room

As Merrill Mathews puts it, Medicare has its own major problems and according to him, it is a much bigger problem than Social Security.

Medicare has a $28 trillion funding gap. Including 8 trillion for the drug benefit passed in 2003.

That along with the $5 trillion Social Security funding gap (according to Mathews) is 3 times the size of the US economy.

However, the difference between the alarms going off is that in terms of debate, the Social Security problem already has a manufactured consent in the publics eye.

Mathews states that a majority of Americans under 65 believe the Social Security problem. Whereas, seniors by and large don't believe the problem because they get their checks all the time without difficulty.

Medicare, however, faces the exact opposite. People under 65 dont know there is a problem but seniors know there is a problem because they have trouble getting health care.

Politically there is no impulse to getting this job done. Will Medicare become the future "political suicide issue." Since Bush and his economists arent even looking at it, it seems to already be that issue.

Or as Atrios puts it, maybe it just makes better TV.