Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs that the recipients have paid for while they worked. On each pay stub there was a box titled FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). The amount in that box was deducted from an employee’s pay, along with an equal amount from the employer to pay for this insurance.
Medicare recipients continue to pay premiums for this insurance. In 2013, they will each pay a premium of $1,258.80, which is deducted from their Social Security payments.
When I hear that these insurance programs are called entitlements, I never hear the follow up, which is: “because the recipients have paid and continue to pay for them.”