Most Americans say they want to discuss end-of-life treatment with their doctors. Yet few seriously ill patients ever actually do.
Last week, Christian social justice activist Ron Sider declared that he is quitting AARP because it's opposing changes to Social Security and Medicare that he finds reasonable: proposals that would ask more from wealthier seniors. There are a lot of ideas out there for shoring up Medicare and Social Security, ideas that should be given serious consideration. And I agree with Sider on several points.
Politicians in Washington invariably use the term “entitlements” to refer to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. On the face of it, it’s a neutral term: citizens are entitled to certain benefits if they fit a certain category of need, hence the benefits might reasonably be called “entitlements.” Yet the word carries ideological freight—an implication that people are lazy or self-indulgent to expect these things.