Leftover sends this, a Wall Street Journal blog that shows just how the gender wage gap affects older women who often rely on Social Security benefits, which are tied to the wages earned. Even as far off as 2030, the gap won’t dissolve.
And check out this Kaiser Family Foundation’s interactive tool, as well (and thanks, Leftover for that, too). This explores that far-off 2030 very well.
Medicare turns 50 next month. And, as noted by Dr. John Geyman at Physicians for a National Health Care Program:
As in 1965, Medicare remains a lightning rod for intense political debates over its future. Despite its proven track record for efficiency, reliability, and responsible service over these last 50 years and widespread public support, Republicans are united in their attempts to dismember it, convert it to a voucher program, and shift patients to the private marketplace, all under the guise of reining in federal spending and austerity. Some Democrats are amenable to raising the eligibility age for Medicare and increasing cost sharing. These ideas are a complete disconnect with the needs of our aging society in a time of increasing inequality of incomes. More than 25 million seniors and people with disabilities live on annual incomes of $23,500 or less, many of whom cannot afford premiums and cost-sharing in either traditional or privatized Medicare. And as our population ages, pensions that in the past assured defined benefits are shifting to defined benefit pensions, without such assurances. There are still many gaps in coverage, even within traditional Medicare, including for long-term care and dental care.
I’m not quite as optimistic as Drew Altman.
History–if history is to be any guide, unless drastic changes are made to our current economic system, we can expect, sooner rather than later, another economic recession that will continue the devastation of what’s left of middle class net worth. This can only exacerbate Altman’s projections of difficulties and inequities of retirement in 2030.
Wages–if current “recovery” wage trends charted by EPI here and here and especially here are allowed to continue unabated, conditions for all seniors will be much worse by 2030, but even more egregious for women.
Healthcare–As Altman points out, for too many seniors in America, things get worse with age, not better. This is especially true considering the financial burden of healthcare imposed on Medicare households in our current market-based for-profit system. Without immediate intervention, if the current proposals described by Dr. Geyman achieve fruition, that financial burden is going to increase exponentially by 2030…for everybody…but especially for women.
And don’t get me started on housing. Not today anyway.
I forgot! There’s a petition!. There’s always a petition.
There is. I don’t discount these, though. Do you?
Sometimes I do. But in this instance…looking at the list of sponsors…and the topic matter…I thinks it’s probably well worth a little more spam in my inbox for a couple of months. That council meets…like what???…once every ten years? Worth a shot.
But it’s going to take a significant number of signature to draw any attention. That’s the problem……
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