Stossel is right, Medicare is a Ponzi scheme. About 70 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted Social Security. The idea was genius for its time since life expectancy was around 65 years of age and one could not begin to withdraw from SS until 65 years old. For then, it was a no-lose gamble for the government to supply a pension that wouldn't pay out very much, according to the statistics of that time.
As time progressed, life expectancy increased; the age to withdraw your pension was lowered and other laws were passed to enable people to withdraw money for various reasons other than age-related, and even with that, the fund continued to grow along with the general prosperity of the country.
Medicare was then formed for the elderly, and even with that addition, the fund still remained very healthy. This is where Stossel misses the most important point. He claims the elderly are ripping off the coming generations, but he fails to mention the biggest rip-off of them all. A number of politicians, a majority of which were Democrats led by Ted Kennedy, realized that there were billions of dollars languishing in a fund, just waiting to be raided and spent on pork projects to enhance their chances of being re-elected, so it happened.
The Social Security and Medicare money was transferred into the general fund and IOUs were left in the fund - IOUs that were never going to be repaid. If that money had been left alone, there would be trillions of dollars in there today, enough money to take care of the coming baby boomer generation and many more to come.
Now Mr. Stossel suggests that the elderly, the generation that has contributed the most money into this fund, is ripping off future generations. Let's put the onus where it belongs and stop blaming the elderly for the greed of the politicians in Washington.
While we're at it, the Obama administration has a health-care plan that takes deadly aim at those who require the most care during their advancing years. This bill, if passed, will have a bureaucrat deciding if the medication or the procedure a doctor recommends is "cost effective." Translation: "The patient is too old to have this procedure and should accept their fate." Another attack on the elderly!
The only weapon we have is that we vote, and if the politicians push this travesty through, the elderly will have their revenge at the polling place.
Mr. Stossel is wrong. The elderly aren't the problem, greedy politicians are.