[Thomas] Friedman argues that [cuts to Social Security of ~3%] are necessary to allow the country to pay for health care...[H]e might instead consider more open trade in health care. He might also consider ending patent monopolies for prescription drugs, which could save the country $270 billion a year (5 times the size of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy) on drug expenditures. He might also consider allowing people to buy into the Medicare system. These routes would provide enormous savings and efficiency gains, although the primary losers would be wealthy people instead of retired workers.
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