Would you like double your Social Security benefits in exchange for all your free medical benefits? It's possible!
Wikipedia shows US government spending in 2013 was 18% military, 23% social security, and 25% medicare and medicaid.
If you gave up your medical benefits, you should be allowed to double your SS check from 23x to 48x.
Above simplification does not distinguish Medicare from Medicaid(limited to poor people). The two are about equal in size. If you are rich, your federal medical benefit is only half your SS. If you are poor, your medical benefit exceeds, possibly far exceeds your SS. Wouldn't the poor rather have more for SS=(food, rent, etc) than blowing it all on medical? Most of that high priced medical comes near the end of life, so enriches the medical industry at the expense of the poor. Read How doctor's die.
We paid for it. Why don't we get to choose a suitable percentage of our retirement benefits for medical care?
Reason why is: lobbying. Health is 2nd only to bankers!
A libertarian might feel each individual should be able to choose how his old-age support is allocated --- he paid for it. Others may feel such decision making should be somehow socialized. I feel the people and the Congress should discuss social security at the same time they discuss medical care. The real issue is the allocation ratio. We are now nowhere near what people really want.
So, how to move forward? A good start might be to copy Canada or Europe. If you figure out a better answer, please let me know.
This document is at http://sep.stanford.edu/sep/jon/medicare.html
Who am I?