Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
I suppose you're probably right. Although for most people opting out of SS/Medicare at a young age and forgoing the benefits later would probably be a terrible decision, undoubtedly there would be plenty of people who would make it anyway. Heck, back when I was 24 if the option had been available I might have made that decision too. It's only been the experience of watching several old people go through long, expensive end of life illnesses that has made me realize how foolish and risky of a decision that would have been.
Whether with pensions or insurance, any risk pooling situation is a sort of exchange of hostages. I think asking to what extent we should force people into such an exchange is legitimate. Sometimes it may be necessary. Other times not; or perhaps addressable through compromise measures like government-funded catastrophic insurance as a sort of stop-loss strategy for the worst cases, allowing risk populations to cross state lines, etc.