What if We block-Grant Medicare and Social Security to the States?

By Alex Gonzalez

Healthcare is a very hot issue for Latinos in Texas and New Mexico as much as Entitlements are for seniors.  The reason for it: The need for age-based services are different.  Latino kids need Medicaid (ACA) and “white”seniors need Medicare and Social Security. In Texas, we always talk about restricting and block-granting Medicaid  ObamaCare (ACA) but say nothing about Medicare. But here is an idea. How about bloc-granting Medicare and Social Security to teach seniors how we can save money on “means-tested” services? If those arguing that states are better suited to handle these types of services, they should not oppose state and county local bureaucrats in charge of deciding who qualifies for Medicare and Social Security benefits.

True, Since ObamaCare (healthcare) is not “enumerated”  in the Constitution; states have the right to manage it.  But Medicare and Social Security are also not “enumerated” mandates; so states have the right to manage them as well. As a result, we can treat seniors as children who have developed an addiction by receiving federal programs (Medicare and Social Security recipients pay only about 38% of the services they receive); so both groups–seniors and kids–are like infants who need to be place under the tutelage of whoever disburses the services because  from a conservative perspective, all these entitlement services corrupt “freedom” and  free enterprise. Or as Nichola Eberstadt from the American Enterprise Institute argues, Entitlements are corruption our national character.

Therefore, by block-grating Medicaid, we want to treat the poor and kids like children who require constant supervision since we presume they cannot make rational choices–they want free goodies–and thus, we need a state bureaucrat to supervise them.  We can do the same with Medicare and Social Security. And this can work since this is how welfare programs like Temporary Assistance (TANF) were successful. So how about if we do the same with Medicare and Social Security and we put a state bureaucrat to tell seniors that they may be living beyond their “means.” Such social workers will be in charge of telling baby boomers that if they make over 200,000 there is no need for them to be taking services from the government to pay their insurance through Medicare to buy pills and equipment they do not need.

The population of Hispanics in Arizona is 35 percent, 40 percent in California, 47 percent in New Mexico and 38 percent in Texas respectively. And the medium ages for Mexican-Americans are 25 of age. Conversely, each year 4,000,000 if boomers become eligible for all Medicare hefty programs by turning 65 since the program only requirement is age. Also,  states, with large Hispanic population  like Florida, Texas, New Mexico, California  and Arizona are the ones with largest group of boomers and retired “white” seniors enrolled in Medicare and Social Security, including poor “white” seniors who consume about 50 percent of Medicaid cost. Also, these states are the ones forecast to increase their population with Texas doubling its population in the next 30 years.

Medicare–a program for the poor and young–has an estimated annual cost of $250 billion (plus $168 billion the cost of ACA  when is fully implemented by 2018) yet we never talk about restricting access to Medicare and Social Security, which cost the government almost $2 trillion each year. More  Florida is home to the largest numbers of Medicare fraud cases estimated at 60 $billion, followed by Texas. So why we, and all those conservatives chiding Madicaid  are not talking about about this entitlements mentality and ongoing frauds in Medicare?

The real reason is that ACA has nothing to do with virtuous self-reliance over government dependency, and more with who votes.  Libertarians, Tea Partiers and AARPers seniors vote similarly to protect this hefty services while blaming education and Medicare for National Debt. But they do so because those enrolled in Medicare and Social Security are the biggest voting bloc, and that both parties fear them; and as Sen. Alan Simpson constantly argues since “According to the trustees for those two programs, Social Security and Medicare have already made tens of trillions of dollars in future promises that are not covered by their expected funding streams.”

But this could change if we simply bloc-grant Medicare and Social Security services to state control since states are the “laboratories” to test federal programs.

Read More: Latinos, ObamaCare and Entitlements ( full report pdf file)

Alex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote!  He received a Bachelors Degree and a Masters’ Degree, with emphasis in American politics,  from San Francisco State University.
comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com

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