Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Is an Honest Press? The Press and Medicare

The Press issued a piece today stating:

Nearly three out of five people say in a recent Associated Press-GfK poll that they paid into the system so they deserve their full benefits — no cuts.

But a newly updated financial analysis shows that what people paid into the system doesn't come close to covering the full value of the medical care they can expect to receive as retirees.

Consider an average-wage, two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers.

But they can expect to receive medical services — from prescriptions to hospital care — worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in.

This is in my opinion and in my analysis blatantly false! We detailed this a year and a half ago, with numbers and a detailed discussion. Let me start with some facts:

1. The average life span of a 65 year old male, namely when the start Medicare is 12 years. See Census data.

2. The average expenditure per year per Medicare patient is $11,000 rounded upwards for 2010! See Medicare.

3. If one multiplies this one gets, $132,000. But! The person still pays in an additional $1200 per year or $14,400. So subtract that to reflect a real cost of $117,600. Not what the Press says.

Now for the contributions side. Medicare is 3% of your gross salary per year and no limits. Unless you worked as a McDonald's clear all your life the average contribution net present valued to today is $187,000. That is per person! Now if you don't make any money you get an extra benefit. Perhaps the Press should have used average US salaries and not the bottom 25% level! The Press uses the average costs but does not include yearly contributions and then assumes a 65 year old couple whose income is in the $44,500 per year per person level after 45+ years of employment. That is about a $22 per hour job, when the minimum wage is about $10. Not a wage of a UAW worker, and no where near the wage of one of those in the teachers unions.

At the end of the article the Press states:

Outpatient doctor visits and prescription drugs are paid for with a mix of premiums collected from beneficiaries and money from the government's general fund. Seniors pay only one-fourth of the costs of those benefits through their premiums.

This is a blatant misstatement of the true facts. They have overestimated the costs and then chose a family in the lower 25 percentile! You cannot do this. The one fourth statement clearly applies to those who never earned much. But one must look at all the data. Remember if you make $1 billion you pay Medicare on all of that! I have never seen an article which has twisted and misrepresented the facts as this one has. They say "Seniors" and in normal English that means all seniors. That is wrong, and they know or should have known this. Perhaps this the the Press and its attempt to just kill grandma! We don't nee death panels we have these fellows, nameless as they shall be.

This analysis is in my opinion merely a rant with posings on the part of the Press and is written to incite not enlighten. This is a classic example of the way the left wing press sends out in my opinion erroneous pieces which have been picked up with no analysis by the other elements of the Press. The Press article is not in my opinion based upon my detailed analysis of the facts itself factual. It is in my opinion a polemical piece of political propaganda! At what point will the people demand the truth based upon facts! Perhaps they will find Elvis next! Shame on all who posted this as is!