Social Security Easily Fixed; Medicare Is Another 'Monster'

Worry about that, not easy-to-fix social security: Reich
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 13, 2009 4:27 PM CDT
Geithner discusses the financial situation of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. A slightly higher wage ceiling would fix social security, Reich writes.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – After yesterday’s news that Social Security and Medicare funds will run out of money earlier than previously predicted, it’s the latter that should really scare us, former Labor secretary Robert Reich writes for Salon. A slight tax tweak fixes Social Security, but “Medicare is entirely different. It’s a monster.” In order to slow rising costs, government must get involved.

“Look more closely and the real problem isn’t even health-care costs,” Reich writes. “It’s a system that pushes up costs by rewarding inefficiency, causing unbelievable waste, pushing over-medication, providing inadequate prevention, overusing emergency rooms because many uninsured people can’t afford regular doctor checkups, and spending billions on advertising and marketing seeking to enroll healthy people and avoid sick ones.”