dealt with honestly. One's employer's share isn't free money. It's money in lieu of what could be salary. If employers are required to set aside retirement funding, there should be options. I'd allow the employee to decide where that money should go. It could go into the SS plan as it does now or it could go into some qualified IRA or even the employer's 401k plan if such exists. Any financial planner will tell you to develop multiple sources of potential income. In most cases, social security should be considered as supplemental income and not relied on as the majority of it.
I might consider abolishing any plan that's offered as tax deferred. These can be a trap and one can end up paying more in taxes later than they'd pay by having the income taxed now.
As to question 4 about means testing...SS should not be a gamble like term or some life annuity plans. If you pay the money into something, you should get a fair return
As for SS and medicare, it would make sense to have the ages of full eligibility match.
The question about using extreme measures for long shot cures is a tough one but it's my opinion that we need to be realistic here. We're all going to die and, when we do, it provides space for someone else. There's nothing rational about wanting to cling to a life that cannot be enjoyed. What we need to consider when we have to make tough decisions is just whose suffering is it that we want to allay. Usually it's our own pain that bothers us most if we really are honest with ourselves.
Because of the multiple subthreads elsewhere with animosity already rampant, I decided to ask this in a new thread. I think most realize that SS, medicare/medicaid and the military compromise a huge part of our budget and any attempt at large budget reduction is going to include cut backs in these areas.