Social Security

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Social Security at 80:
Time to Retire? or Revise In 2015, America’s Social Security System turns 80 years old. The original act was a landmark bill, as it was the establishment of America’s safety net. The promise of the act was to ensure that America’s retirees would have some protection from poverty. Since the Social Security Act of 1935 was passed, the social safety net has been expanded to cover additional groups and classes of people. The most important additional programs established being MediCare and MedicAid. After years of running a surplus, Social Security has reached an inflection point. At the current rate of drawdown, the trust fund will run dry, and Social Security will begin to operate as a pay-as-you-go program,
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This act created Medicare Part D which was the introduction of prescription drug coverage. Since 1965, prescription drugs have become more common but were excluded from the original 1965 act. The law was meant to address the increasing dependency of elderly on prescription drugs to manage chronic illnesses. Unlike the Veteran’s Affairs prescription drug benefit plan, the MMA does not allow the federal government to negotiate drugs prices. This has become a contentious point because the same drug can cost the VA 50% than the same drug under Medicare.

Demographic Issues Affecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid The overriding issue facing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is the changing of America’s demographic makeup. Shortly after the close of the Second World War, the U.S. saw a dramatic rise in fertility, called the Baby Boom generation. The sharp rise and following fall of U.S. fertility produced what is often called a demographic dividend. The demographic dividend provided by these workers coincided with an era of unparalleled economic growth for the United States and the rest of the world. But the demographic dividend provided by the Baby Boomers is coming to an end. Beginning in 2011, the Baby Boomers began to retire and the aged dependency ratio is set to markedly increase. The Social Security Administration estimate that the U.S. aged dependency ratio will rise to 35% in 2030 from the 2010
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