Presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested this week that the nation needs to “phase-out” Medicare, and although he said it needed to be preserved for those now in the program and those soon to be eligible, he did indicate that it should be swapped out for something else for the next generations.
Given that stance, it’s interesting to note that 1.37 million New Jerseyans — or 16 percent — are currently enrolled in Medicare. That’s the same percentage as the country as a whole; 49.4 million Americans were enrolled in the system as of 2012.
In New Jersey, 85 percent of those on Medicare are elderly, and 15 percent are disabled.
Interestingly, the first two states to hold primaries or caucuses have an even higher percentage of people on Medicare. Iowa has 17 percent and New Hampshire has 18 percent. Bush’s own state of Florida has 19 percent enrolled in Medicare.