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For millions of Americans over the age of 65 it's their primary source of health insurance now.
It is also a major drain on the federal budget but in a lot of quarters Medicare is seen as a sacred cow the question why.
-- almost sacrilegious to pose the question but John Stossel is done just that he is co anchor of ABC's.
21 -- when he went looking for some answers take a look.
He -- press -- not a surprise that they'd like Medicare.
Everyone likes getting free stuff -- -- And -- -- often makes going to the doctor just about free some of these folks go all the time love coming here so that's -- -- life.
Harvard Business School professor Regina -- -- says Medicare -- -- -- We're really stealing from them it's not right Medicare is essentially ripping my generation -- And I about joining us that would -- docile and tonight by the way John.
Is -- night that this premieres on 20/20 but it is sacrilegious.
This is one of the sacred cows you can't be against Medicare.
-- too bad somebody asked to talk about this this is generational theft it's 34 trillion dollars in the red.
How can they make these promises -- confront the seniors about it and they say we paid into the system.
I'm just getting back what I paid in this true money was abducted every month from their -- right.
But they don't realize that.
Two to three they will collect to -- three times on average what they plan.
They don't realize that the money isn't in a trust fund that was immediately spent this government always does and now it's a call on younger people.
And there aren't enough of them to pay certainly for my generation the baby boom generation when we retire.
It's broke and yet they still paid for Viagra for some seems -- seniors want more this woman says it's my social life I like going to the doctor.
And these are wealthy seniors.
-- -- -- you -- I don't want you to pass over so quickly that trillion dollar figure that's the amount of money that has already been committed that we don't have the funding for that.
34 trillion isn't the accountants take it out 75 years and Medicare alone 34 trillion dollar unfunded liability it dwarfs everything else that's about thirty Iraq wars you know and yet nobody's talking about it and ERP says -- confront them.
Oh cool reform health care we'll keep computers -- will solve it that way.
Raise the eligibility age.
Can't do that say that rich seniors after they recover what they paid -- Should pay for their own health care.
It can't happen but something's got to break at some point you can only bend it so far before it snaps right.
Something's gonna break it it probably will break in Japan and Europe first maybe we can learn from their crisis but.
It's gonna break -- by the way we haven't even spoken about the fraud and waste there was an inspector general assembly -- years back who said at that time Medicare which 300 billion a year I think it's.
Much more than that right now but at that time -- fifty billion of that 300 billion was in waste and fraud every year so.
There's a lot of double dipping going on from doctors from hospitals from prescription.
Prescribe errors etc.
Everything else being equal there's also the waste and fraud issue.
And as a side note on that Obama and then reformers of health -- talk about the private insurance companies have such high administrative costs.
-- some of the he's looking for the fraud that Medicare just -- ya know I grew up with my grandfather I don't know about you but.
There was a time in this country when people took care of their wrong.
That the young folks who complain about it -- have a lot of justification complaining about Medicare for all the waste and fraud all the money that's been badly spent and overspent.
Nevertheless are they willing.
To do what my generation previous generations and that is paid.
For the health care of their grandparents as they get older.
I don't know why doesn't that have to have to happen though I mean there's there is a social reality that we have changed become.
A more selfish society believing that we don't have to take care her elderly because the government will do.
Yes that's the problem but why -- you -- it on the young people the elderly have the highest net worth of all the groups.
There are poor but -- doesn't necessarily mean poor yes there are poor older people -- to take care of but lots of them.
Have their own money we ought to save up for our own health care.
As we means testing should there be some way as you hear the democratic -- response to this is that.
You should charge people who have the money to pay out for their own health insurance.
-- -- this just punishes people who have saved money in her money but in this case I would say yes it's just soul.
In the hole that.
To continue to pay people wealthy people two -- three times what they put again.
Is just stealing from the young.
Is anybody addressing the issues substantively inside the beltway.
I was amazed in the interview.
It's odd interview with Obama on the New York Times magazine he he addresses the 80% of cost the very end of life and I still have my wishful thinking maybe he will.
Bring it out there -- honestly.
But when you look at congress and you look at what they've been proposing to spend right now when you look at Obama's ten -- 630.
Billion dollar spending which he will probably get for his new health care initiative he you don't see many cutbacks.
You don't see the government never cut even if he proposes that.
Reasonable farm subsidy reform.
It gets shot down by the congressman's protecting his -- -- -- discussed and by the way this is just one half of the year there's also Medicaid which we have begun to talk about and social security and Social Security so this is just one.
Leg of a three legged stool that may collapse very shortly and one of six things you can't talk about that I will talk about -- my -- tonight.
God bless Johnstone also good to see -- one -- 18 tonight's the night you don't wanna mystic thanks for coming in.
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