Are the Elderly Committing Generational Theft?

John Stossel argues it's time for America to do less for its senior citizens.

ByABC News
May 6, 2009, 7:05 PM

May 7, 2009— -- At La Posada Retirement Community in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., people live a pretty good life. With manicured grounds, an elegant swimming pool, a fine dining room, and beautiful lakeside property, La Posada made Forbes' list of "America's Top 10 Ritzy Retirement Communities."

"We have a wonderful life here," said resident Joy Turner.

And how much does it cost to buy in?

"Anywhere between $350,000 to half a million dollars," said another resident, Sam Bath.

And that's only the initial entrance fee! But even though these elderly people are doing quite well, they get a bonus: Thanks to Medicare, the taxpayer covers most of their health care costs.

"Medicare, I think it's the most wonderful thing," said resident Marilyn Herron.

Henry Becker, another La Posada resident, believes that Medicare is "one of the best things this country has ever done."

It's no surprise that these elderly residents like Medicare. Everyone likes getting things for free, and Medicare often makes going to the doctor just about free. With medical costs that cheap, some of these elderly residents go all the time.

"That's our social life," Herron joked.

But Regina Herzlinger, a professor at Harvard Business School, said Medicare cheats the young.

"What kind of legacy are we leaving for them?" she asked. "We're really stealing from them. It's not right."

"20/20" interviewed three high school students in Dayton, Ohio who said they are eager to help the needy -- in fact, they volunteer at their local food bank. But these teens are angry that Medicare forces them to pay for even wealthy seniors.

"How do they feel, morally, that they're living in these $300,000, $500,000 homes and they're still not paying for their own health care?" asked student Patti Arnold.

"This program is essentially ripping my generation off!" exclaimed student Zach Hardaway.