I have made this argument before -- your lifetime Medicare taxes cover only about a third of the benefits you will receive. Social Security taxes are set about right -- to the extent we come up short on Social Security, it is only because a feckless Congress spent all the excess money in the good years and has none left for the lean years.
But Medicare is seriously mis-priced. I have always argued that this is dangerous, because there is nothing that screws up the economy more than messed up price signals. In particular, I have argued that a lot of the glowy hazy love of Medicare by Americans is likely due to the fact that it is seriously mis-priced. Let's price the thing right, and then we can have a real debate about whether it needs reform or is worth it.
A recent study confirms my fear that the mispricing of Medicare is distorting perceptions of its utility.
As debate over the national debt and the federal budget deficit begins to heat up again, an analysis of national polls conducted in 2013 shows that, compared with recent government reports prepared by experts, the public has different views about the need to reduce future Medicare spending to deal with the federal budget deficit. Many experts believe that future Medicare spending will have to be reduced in order to lower the federal budget deficit  but polls show little support (10% to 36%) for major reductions in Medicare spending for this purpose. In fact, many Americans feel so strongly that they say they would vote against candidates who favor such reductions. Many experts see Medicare as a major contributor to the federal budget deficit today, but only about one-third (31%) of the public agrees.
This analysis appears as a Special Report in the September 12, 2013, issue of New England Journal of Medicine.
One reason that many Americans believe Medicare does not contribute to the deficit is that the majority thinks Medicare recipients pay or have prepaid the cost of their health care. Medicare beneficiaries on average pay about $1 for every $3 in benefits they receive.  However, about two-thirds of the public believe that most Medicare recipients get benefits worth about the same (27%) or less (41%) than what they have paid in payroll taxes during their working lives and in premiums for their current coverage.
Update: Kevin Drum writes on the same study. Oddly, he seems to blame the fact that Americans have been trained to expect something for nothing from the government on Conservatives. I am happy to throw Conservatives under the bus for a lot of things but I think the Left gets a lot of the blame if Americans have been fooled into thinking expensive government freebies aren't really costing them anything.