September 21, 2013

Medicare: A Fraud Harming Workers

Kevin D. Williamson recently took to Twitter to promote his latest, The Price Of Politics, and translated the $90B ($90,000,000,000) in annual Medicare fraud into a stunning analogy:

It's a brisk, depressing piece and I encourage you to read it.  The world's largest hedge fund is smaller than the combined theft against our workers and our elderly that elected officials are willing to tolerate every single year.  What else but a government program could be such a pushover? Maybe a junkie.  Ace summed it up beautifully as a "ghostwritten suicide note".

This $90B, this gigantic fraud, is so offensive that I did math and what I found is startling.

According to this, if I have things straight, there are currently 155.5 million people in the workforce.

When you divide the $90B in annual dollars grifted from Medicare by the 155.5 million workers contributing to the fund, you get an average personalized theft of $578.78 from each worker.

For a casual glance at how Medicare dollars are collected, I referred to this page which says a tax of 1.45% is collected from each employee.

To cover just the cost of fraud committed against them, Americans have to earn more than $39,915.86 a year if they even want to begin to contribute to what they imagine resembles health security. If you make less than $39,915.86 a year, your entire contribution to Medicare has been defrauded from the government. 

(Editor's Note: I am not an economist, nor do I really know anything about Medicare. There are probably more nuances to achieving the precise figures I'm after, but it's as start. If you have more reliable numbers or insight then please share because I'm confident it will be ugly regardless.)

Update: Erased an opening salvo that was probably not very helpful.