Stanford public-policy professor John Cogan says that beginning next year, typical 66-year-old couples who qualify for receiving the average Social Security benefit will begin collecting a combination of cash and healthcare entitlement benefits that will total $1 million over their remaining expected lifetime.
According to Cogan’s calculations, which are based on government data, such married couples will begin receiving monthly Social Security checks that will, on average, total about $550,000 after inflation.
“They will receive healthcare services paid for by Medicare that, on average, will total another $450,000 after inflation,” Cogan writes in The Wall Street Journal.
“The benefactors will be a generation of younger workers who are trying to support themselves and their families while paying taxes to finance the rest of government spending.”
The existence of so many million-dollar couples is not the result of elected officials carefully weighing the needs of senior citizens against the financial ability of younger workers to meet these needs, says Cogan.
“Rather, it is the result of decades of separate legislative actions by both political parties to liberalize retirement and healthcare benefits, the sum total of which no one has bothered to calculate.”
“Social Security and Medicare were the result of natural human impulses to create safety-net programs to prevent poverty in old age and to help needy senior citizens with their medical bills, Cogan says.
“But the programs are flawed.”
Health Leaders Media reports that the latest Millman Medical Index shows it has taken less than nine years for healthcare costs to double for the average family of four covered by a preferred provider organization.
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