Here we are in another presidential election year, and it seems that some of the same talking points come up every four years. On the docket this year are the typical subjects—taxes, foreign policy, national defense, the economy, and a whole host of other topics. Not surprisingly, another issue that is brought up every four years is the matter of entitlements—especially Social Security and Medicare. Though neither party’s presumptive candidates have made the subject of entitlements a large portion of their campaign speeches, there was quite a bit of discussion about them in the primary races. And it’s no wonder why the topic of entitlements comes up so frequently. Though I think it’s fair to say that most Americans are in favor of the programs existing in some shape or form, the sheer cost of them in terms of taxpayer dollars is incredible, and most of the discussion around entitlements has to do with the numbers.
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about raising the age at which a person can be covered under Medicare and at which he or she can receive Social Security benefits. Since Americans are living much longer than when the programs were established, it makes sense that the funding model may need to be adjusted. In addition to that, because Americans are staying healthier longer, they are often working later into life and not retiring as early as they once had. This means that some people are still able to be covered under health insurance from an employer.
So no matter what your personal opinion is on the future of Social Security or Medicare, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be talking about the best way to handle things for the foreseeable future.