MEDICARE II: Gen-Xers Should Question Plan’s Future
Medicare "will be flat broke by the time Generation-Xers need it," and young people need to begin thinking about it now, Corey Davison of the Concord Coalition told Wichita State University undergraduates last week. He said: "Insolvency is right around the corner. The Balanced Budget Amendment of 1997 ensured the system is solvent for a little longer, but there is political pressure building to fund a prescription drug benefit and that will just speed up insolvency. All proposed remedies for Medicare are going to be controversial." Noting that young people have a "notoriously poor record of political participation," Mel Kahn, Wichita State University political science professor, said, "I think a lot of people just put their heads in the sand and hope the problem will just go away." But Davison said, "The worst thing we can do is not do anything about it. We have a moral obligation and we have to continue to have discussions about where Medicare is heading." Davison polled 130 WSU students, asking what they would do to fix Medicare. Preliminary results showed that students' answers "mirrored responses that politicians, policy wonks and taxpayers nearing retirement age give." Most students favored raising Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes, but many would not increase Medicare's eligibility age (Kratzer, Wichita Business Journal, 5/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.