The author of the Dec. 2 letter about supplemental Medicare plans stated that “Maybe we should expand Medicare to include thousands of South Carolinians and military veterans without medical benefits.” His argument is based on the cost of government-provided Medicare, which covers 80 percent of medical expenses, compared to the cost of privately provided supplemental plans that cover 20 percent of expenses.

The author, however, conflates his cost with the actual cost of Medicare paid by the government. There are currently over 70 million people on Medicare, which costs the government over $700 billion or about $10,000 per person per year. Each participant pays a fourth to a third of this, with the working taxpayer paying the rest.

Medicare is a Ponzi scheme that relies on the next generation of working taxpayers picking up much of the cost of those on Medicare.

Today we have more people on Medicare and fewer working taxpayers picking up the tab.

Trustees recently reported that Medicare will remain solvent through 2026. After that, funding will be insufficient to pay all expenses. Medicare shifts costs from current participants to our children and grandchildren. Ponzi schemes are rightly illegal in the private sector and should be illegal in government.

Philip Holberton

Deacon Drive

Pawleys Island