Saturday, April 09, 2011


Analysis: Is the US ready for the GOP's Medicare cuts?

... as time goes on, the demand for the government to provide—or assist in the provision of—social insurance will grow, not decline. Historically, companies shouldered the load of funding workers' health care and retirement savings. But 401(K)s are replacing pensions. According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the percentage of employees participating in defined benefit plans was 33 percent in 2007 compared with 63 percent in 1988. Public-sector pensions are likely to be trimmed. That means tomorrow's retirees will need more old-age income insurance, not less. In addition, jobs increasingly don't come with health care benefits. According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of people in 2009 covered by employment-based health insurance fell to 55.8 percent in 2009, the lowest "since 1987, the first year that comparable health insurance data were collected." With each passing year, more people need help buying insurance, not fewer.

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