First I would like to say that the reading for social security was an informative read. Having heard many of the negative things about social security over the yeas, it was nice to get an honest look at it. That said, it is still worrisome whether the system will hold up or not. To me the problem is life expectancy. As people live longer, without raising the age limit of social security, people will be on it for a longer period of time. Eventually leading to a larger percentage of the population being on social security, especially if birth rates do not keep up with the rise in life expectancy. I think raising the age limit in social security only partially works. Older people have a harder time finding and keeping work. Many companies force retirement on older people to not have to pay them higher wages, especially those that have been with a company for an extended amount of time. Hiring new workers that come in at base pay rates instead of rates which have increased with raises over the period of time that a person has worked for the company. This also can lead to lower paying jobs, that could possibly make an older person have to tap into their retirement fund earlier than expected and then lead to being more dependent on social security when the time comes. Also, in raising the age limit, some people will not be able to work later in life due to health problems. This would lead to more people on disability (part of social security) and put more strain on the system. Raising the tax on social security is also an option, but how many more taxes (social security and others) can society afford? Employers and employees both pay social security, raising social security hurts both sides of the spectrum. Employers have to pay more-they raise the rates of their goods/services. Leading to consumers, the bulk of which are employees, having to pay twice. Once directly in the tax increase on their paycheck, and again paying more for the goods/services they buy. There may be other options to explore, beyond my knowledge of it, but it is certain that something is going to have to be done in the future. It would be wise when the time comes to remember that there are repercussions/side effects to whatever is decided upon. Yes, we need to continue to take care of our elders, but in a way which does not put further strain on the rest of society, which as a whole, is struggling pretty bad as it is.
In my present situation, I have a hard time seeing how this is considered affordable. I signed up for health care through the marketplace before the original deadline. My monthly premium is $160, with a $6000 deductible before the insurance even kicks in. That is nearly $8000 a year if I used it to the point where the insurance had to pay out. This was one of the cheaper options that I had when I signed up. Even to a person who made $50k a year (which I don’t), that would be nearly 20% of their income, and that is before taxes. If you don’t bring home $50k a year, it is an even higher percentage. I also read recently (although I don’t have the link) that premiums are going to go up. Kind of seems like a bait and switch to me. Bring everyone in under one pricing system, and then two years later start raising the rates. People are required to have it, pay it or else. Although it may have been put in place with good intentions, I do not find it to be affordable and the ones to benefit the most is going to be the insurance companies-as usual. I have yet to find someone who finds it affordable, if you do not qualify for government assistance. While there is peace of mind knowing I have insurance, the thought of having to use it for something serious is equally as terrifying, $6000 would be a damaging amount of money to have to pay out.