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This plan will likely never beput on the table for discussion without you and other like-minded citizens. Your contribution and support will help to promote and advertise the plan online as well as in the mainstream media. It will help fund this critically important mission and that support will be greatly appreciated, especially if it becomes instrumental in effecting the kind of change we all need!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any assistance you can give! And don't forget to go to the Comment/Contact page to express your opinion and/or contact us because we need your input!
So Who Am I?
THE HEALTHCARE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AND THE FUTURE IS NOW!
The Plan for Real Social Security
This website explains a plan to replace "Obamacare" with something that is much better and completely sustainable over the long-term. This plan could theoretically appeal to both liberals and conservatives, that is if the only goal is to provide a financially sustainable social safety net, including healthcare, without regard to politics or power. Yes, in addition to replacing "Obamacare", this plan would cover virtually every social need, including retirement, disability, unemployment, and death benefits, just to name a few and an added no-small benefit: contribute to paying off the national debt!
Here's How You Can Help To Promote This Plan For Financially Sustainable Healthcare and Retirement
*After reviewing this plan please click on Comment/Contact and let me know what you think, perhaps donate what you can to the cause or even volunteer to help get the word out. Especially those more adept at social media than I am will definitely be needed!
This is a unique and scary time in the history of our nation. For about a century now we've been on a course which, if not reversed or halted, could actually end up destroying the country most of us know and love. In that time we've created a federal government and national debt so large and intrusive that it threatens to consume our resources and those of our descendants for many generations to come. Yet there seems to be no end in sight to this madness. Not only does the federal government have no plan for tackling this problem, it seems that even with the new "drain the swamp" administration there isn't really much serious thought to solving the underlying problem. No, instead it appears that we're on the verge of going even further into debt, what with all the proposed increased spending on the military, infrastructure and the promise not to touch the so-called entitlement programs. The lawmakers in Washington have already put us in debt so much over our heads that many analysts fear it will never be repaid, at least not without gigantic tax increases and/or major reductions in services, which nobody in Washington has the courage to propose. To me that seems like continuing to walk towards the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel when you know it's the locomotive coming toward you!
There is however some good news in that it may not be too late to do something about it if we act quickly and decisively. With this in mind I'd like to introduce my idea that could completely change that dismal future of becoming a first-world Greece. The idea, if implemented, would accomplish the following:
Sound too good to be true or pie-in-the-sky? I urge you to read on to see how such a plan is not only feasible but could be the answer to the decades-old dilemma of how to finance our entire social safety net and pay off the national debt.
Would You Be Interested In A Plan That Will Pay Off The National Debt In Addition To Providing Great Cradle-To-Grave Healthcare For Each And Every One Of Us? What Follows Is The Answer To The Question Of Our Time: What To Do About "Obamacare" and the Rest of the American Social Safety Net, Including Retirement. *
REAL SOCIAL SECURITY
I present here for your consideration a plan I call “real social security” and, as you might guess, it does concern our present-day Social Security System, its relevance and long-term viability but also a great deal more. It includes virtually the entire social safety net of the nation as we now know it (including healthcare), how it's funded, administered and how it could and should be replaced with an entirely new social safety net system.
Although some of the national debt is feasibly attributed to a host of frivolous and unnecessary expenditures, the vast majority of it has been accumulated by the creation and perpetuation of so-called entitlement programs that we can’t pay for without borrowing money as we go along. This process began many decades ago and has simply become a societal bad habit, one that we need to get over or suffer a future economic calamity. Unless you recently migrated to earth from another planet I doubt if I need to remind you that the Baby-Boomers (of which I am one) are retiring in great numbers and collecting Social Security, Medicare and other benefits at such a rate that many analysts believe will bankrupt the nation without major tax increases and substantial benefit reductions. When all the Boomers have reached retirement age there won't be enough workers to support all the retirees in these programs at the present levels of benefits, it's just that simple. So it's virtually impossible for the system to survive in its present form.
What I'm proposing is to gradually phase out all of these programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, unemployment compensation and most if not all other income redistribution programs that are administered by government at all levels. And as mentioned I would replace (gradually, beginning with the younger generations) all of these programs with an entirely new system of providing for our healthcare, retirement, disability and other social needs. And in my opinion, at least theoretically, it could be done with the blessing of those on both sides of the political spectrum. Impossible you say? No and here's why.
When you think about it present-day social programs provided by the government are somewhat like insurance policies against certain calamities such as illness, unemployment, poverty, etc. In this analogy the government is the insurance company, collecting "premiums" in the form of taxes, fees, F.I.C.A., Medicare deductions, etc. We the people of course are the “policyholders” and when it's time to retire or when difficulties arise the insurance company (government) steps in and writes us our benefit checks (healthcare, disability payments, Social Security checks, welfare payments, unemployment compensation, food stamps, etc.).
The problem with government (at any level) being our insurance company is simply this. Government is of course constitutionally mandated to do certain things for us such as enact and administer laws, provide for our common defense, regulate commerce, build and maintain roads and other infrastructure, i.e. those things we can't feasibly do for ourselves. But unfortunately, when it comes to administering social programs, government's record is often pretty dismal, not so much because it doesn't have good intentions in taking care of our needs but more because it's usually terribly inefficient and sometimes even downright fraudulent in doing so. Take for example the collecting of our Social Security contributions separately from taxes as if they were planning on investing or at least putting the money aside for us, then turning around and treating the contributions as general tax revenues and spending the money on whatever meets their fancy? That, my friends, is fraud no matter how you look at it. If you or I were to do something similar in our own private lives/businesses is there any doubt that, if caught, we'd be put in jail? Everyone knows that because our money was never saved or invested we're in for an even rougher ride in the future unless things quickly change.
So what's the alternative to our present system? (not really a system at all). Why does the government, any government, need to be our "insurance company" when it comes to our personal social needs? Why couldn't another entity or set of entities be designated by the government to be our social safety net insurance company? Before explaining this concept it should be stated that there is already precedence for this. Every state that I know of requires its drivers to have auto insurance before they're allowed to drive legally on the road. Premiums aren't collected at the license branch nor does the state insure our vehicles. Instead we're required to purchase insurance from a qualified and government-approved insurance company of our choice. With some differences our personal social needs, including healthcare, could be handled the same way.
Here is how I envision it working. Every worker would continue to pay federal, state and local taxes (where applicable) but at a significantly lower rate (once fully implemented) because there would no longer need be any governmental funding of social programs. (In fact, if this plan were adopted it might be a good time to change over to the long discussed fair/sales tax system.) Also deducted from our paychecks (or paid directly by the self-employed), in similar fashion to present-day FICA and Medicare deductions, would be an additional amount, matched by your employer. But instead of the money going to the government it would be sent to a predesignated and approved private company. (I would envision such companies to be a sort of combination Vanguard/Cigna or T. Rowe Price/Aetna, e.g., because of their combined financial and medical functions. These companies would be responsible to administer the funds received on behalf of each worker. Each worker's fund would necessarily be compartmentalized (health insurance, retirement, rainy day fund, etc.), the companies investing them in order to obtain maximum long-term return, and to distribute the funds back to the worker (or family) when needed (and authorized) to pay hospital, doctor, dental and other medical expenses such as prescription drugs. A portion of everyone's contributions would necessarily go to an umbrella fund that would cover others with catastrophic illnesses, the disabled and for those who for whatever reason can't cover all their needs with their own accounts. These administering companies (and their profits) would be highly regulated and the funds therein insured by the federal government. Although the money would not be available to the worker on demand he/she would have ultimate control and the freedom to transfer their funds to any of the other approved companies without penalty, thus insuring healthy competition.
What percentage of one’s income would go into the plan? Obviously that would have to be worked out by actuaries and debated before being enacted into law by Congress. But I’m sure one’s level of income would be a major factor in any debate about the percentage(s) withheld. Regardless of what we and our employers are required to contribute, everything except for the umbrella portion of the funds would still belong to us, not the government! What I’m suggesting is that any fighting over contribution levels should be somewhat lessened by that fact. It simply needs to be actuarily sound. One would probably be allowed to contribute even more than the minimum if desired, just as in a 401-K plan. And if it were up to me, just like today’s 401-K’s, taxes would be deferred (if not eliminated altogether) on any and all minimum contributions.
Before continuing let me reiterate that these accounts, though not directly available to contributors on a whim, would nevertheless remain completely private (like any IRA or 401-K) and thus not available to the government for any reason. These funds would be yours and whatever is left in the account when you die would be left to one or more designated beneficiaries. Compare that to present-day Social Security. If, e.g. you are single and work, pay into Social Security for 45 years, then die just before retiring, how much of all you contributed will be left to someone? Absolutely nothing!
What all would be included in the plan? That of course would be debated but if I could be “king for a day” I would include the entire social safety net: retirement, disability benefits, healthcare, prescription drugs, unemployment compensation and other temporary assistance as well as some death benefits. Also, if I were setting it up I'd include a provision for being able to use a portion of the account from time-to-time, perhaps as a loan, depending on the level of funds in the account, for certain preauthorized purposes such as the down payment on a home, education, money for starting a business, or some other authorized need. The plan could even still be called “Social Security” since, as one can see, it really would provide each of us a real measure of social security throughout our entire lives (unlike the present Social Security system).
If I had to describe the concept of this plan in one phrase it would be mandated self-sufficiency. I know that sounds a bit oxymoronic, but if you think about it, it really does make sense. The plan would necessarily be mandatory with no exceptions. Otherwise we'd end up right back where we started because there will always be those who would, if given the choice, elect not to participate and we'd end up having to take care of them anyway if/when they get into difficulty (sickness, accident, retirement, etc.) without the means to take care of themselves or their families. Each of us would in good measure become self-sufficient, providing for ourselves, albeit mandatory, and saving for the future our entire working life, not just when we decide to get serious about it a few years before retirement age, as is the case with so many of us now.
What are the pros and cons of such a system? Here are my thoughts:
1. The first obvious advantage is cradle-to-grave healthcare, disability, unemployment, and retirement benefits for all regardless of income level. Although some limitations would be necessary (elective medical care, unemployment and levels of other benefit payments, e.g.), it would still give everyone a reasonable measure of true social security throughout their life.
2. Individual ownership and complete portability of the plan would render obsolete the necessity of employers having to provide healthcare and other social benefits that have been both a curse and a blessing to employers and employees.
3. The savings to an employer both financially and administratively would be enormous with obvious competitive benefits in the marketplace.
4. The employee would be free to leave his/her place of employment for a better job without fear of losing benefits, preexisting medical conditions notwithstanding.
5. An employer would no longer feel compelled to hire part-time instead of full-time personnel because of the added cost of providing benefits to a full-time worker.
6. Continued competition and the pressures of the marketplace would likely ensure that at least part of the cost savings to the employer (in not having to provide benefits) would be passed on to the employee in the form of higher wages/salaries.
7. Taking these responsibilities out of the hands of the federal government would eliminate the need for the huge government bureaucracies that are presently involved in one overlapping social program or another, including the Social Security Administration, Medicare, Medicaid, and most if not all existing income redistribution programs, saving the taxpayers an incredible amount of money.
8. If the legislation were crafted carefully there could even be a bonus. The plan could be used to facilitate the collection and payment of child support, virtually ending the problem of "deadbeat'' parents. How? Since the plan is completely portable, it will follow the worker wherever he/she goes within the country, to whatever job he/she works. It could easily be mandated by law to allow a judge in a divorce to be able to notify the "real social security" administering company to collect whatever child support is decreed in addition to the regular amount that is withheld from the worker's check. The parent that is ordered to pay support couldn't simply move to another state or change jobs in order to avoid payment, as is sometimes the case now, since this plan would follow them wherever they go.
9. Maybe the best advantage of all is that the cost of healthcare would likely go down considerably. Why? Since we would actually own the funds we'd likely be much more proactive and involved in making our own healthcare decisions than is now the case. That would drive costs down because it would return healthy competition to the medical marketplace.
Are there disadvantages to having such a system? Frankly the only disadvantage that I can think of is more of a challenge than a disadvantage and that is in figuring out how to implement/phase in the plan. The devil is always in the details and since I'm the one with the idea criticism of it will be left to others. Contribution levels would of necessity still need to be somewhat progressive (contributions to the umbrella fund), based on one's level of income, in order to insure that everyone is adequately covered. I suppose that could be objectionable to some but considering that the overall cost of the entire social safety net would be a fraction of what it is today I think most would find the progressive part of the plan acceptable. Once the conversion is complete and the national debt is paid off everyone's total tax and contribution levels would be much smaller than they are today.
Such a system would have obvious advantages for all of us, left, right and center but, though I hope to be wrong, I predict that there will be a small but powerful segment of the population, mostly those in the political establishment, who will oppose it regardless of its merits or the transition details. I'd guess that the opposition will come from the extreme left, the extreme right and any politician who wants no part of losing any political power. The far left will likely oppose it because they'll have difficulty with any plan that is not under the complete control and micromanagement of the federal government. If this system were implemented one can easily see how a significant amount of power would be taken away from most elected officials as well as many lobbyists and interest groups. The far right may oppose it simply because they generally oppose, or at least skeptical, of anything that is mandated by the federal government with progressive contribution levels.
Granted, that sounds like pretty formidable opposition, but I also predict that those of us in favor of it will be overwhelming, perhaps as high as 80-90% of ordinary people. Why? Because for those of us with no other agenda other than to solve these social problems about which we've been arguing for many decades, it offers the potential of becoming both a permanent and constitutional solution. In order for such a plan to be implemented it will likely be one of those situations where we the people will have to drag the politicians kicking and screaming, making it politically uncomfortable for them to do otherwise.
In addition to the obvious benefit of finally having the long-debated universal healthcare and having most of the rest of our personal social needs taken care of, let's examine for a minute how this system might favorably affect society as a whole. First, and most importantly, once we finalize the transition to the new plan, it would be completely pay-as-you-go, therefore self-sustaining. No more borrowing trillions of dollars from China and others who don’t have our best interests at heart (and who can call in their loans at any time). We would almost immediately become a nation of savers again and would gradually regain our status as a lender nation instead of being a debtor nation as we are now.
Another significant advantage of this plan is to the business community, especially businesses large enough to furnish health insurance for their employees. Their responsibility to do this would be eliminated. While every employer will be (or at least should be) required to match the worker's contributions (or whatever percentage the legislation requires), the employer would have no other financial or administrative responsibility for our healthcare. Imagine what this would do to enhance the competitiveness of many businesses who have been losing profits, causing the outsourcing of many jobs overseas due to the high cost of providing benefits to their employees.
You and I would be the main beneficiaries of this change. As mentioned above we would no longer need to feel tied to an employer for fear of not being able to get (or afford) our own medical insurance. The medical insurance under this plan would cover us from cradle-to-grave, completely oblivious to preexisting conditions and altogether portable.
There you have it. I hope you agree that this plan should at the very least be discussed along with whatever else the government is trying to do now to repeal and/or replace "Obamacare". If you feel it does have merit and deserves to be part of the public discussion I urge you to do what you can to help as outlined below. It really does need to go viral, so to speak. Time is of the essence as President Trump and Congress have now presented a replacement plan for "Obamacare", entitled the American Healthcare Act which, unfortunately, seems like putting a band-aid on someone who just had their throat slit!. In order to get this plan of Real Social Security before the public a grass-roots movement is needed and must be done quickly. “We the people” can once again take control and cause very real and positive change in our nation and, who knows, maybe even change the way the entire world looks at how to take care of its own.
My name is Steve Turner (Steven W. to be formal), just an average American guy who some years ago was inspired with an idea about how to move forward in a financially responsible way in our great country, the United States of America. I have no particular platform from which to speak, no fancy Ivy League degrees or job title(s) to boast about: just a husband, father and grandfather who is legitimately concerned about the future of this the greatest nation in history. I feel it's incumbent upon me to share this idea with any and all who will take the time to read about it in spite of my lack of pedigree. My modest hope is that it will at least spur some public discussion about a seemingly intractable problem, especially right now when so much attention is being given to "Obamacare", whether to try and amend it or replace it altogether.