• ARGH! – Medicare eligibility age edition

    ARGH!

    Raising the Medicare eligibility age would save the federal government money while shifting more costs to seniors, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

    CBO also said the effects of raising the Medicare eligibility age would be “less onerous” if President Obama’s healthcare reform law remains in place.

    Proposals to raise the Medicare age have surfaced in nearly every round of budget-cutting talks in Congress since Republicans took over the House majority, and Obama put the idea on the table during negotiations last fall.

    If only there was a blog that posted on why it costs two times more to raise the Medicare age from 65 to 67 than we’d see in savings. If only there was a blog that explained such a move would be bad for health, regressive, and require the ACA to be fully in effect. If only there was a blog that explained that even the liberal case for this move is weak. If only there was a blog that explained that this is especially bad for certain, large unions. If only there was a blog that explained that the federal savings in such a move are actually very small

    If only there was a blog that had a FAQ on this topic. If only a blog had done a podcast on this topic.

    Then maybe I wouldn’t have to read this story again and again and again and again. Then I could shout “ARGH” less often.

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    • @Aaron
      It is interesting to look at differences in how CBO estimates this and talks about it over time. Option 17 (p. 37) from Dec. 2008 long term options is raise Medicare eligibility age to 67. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9925/12-18-HealthOptions.pdf

      In 2008, they mostly talk terms of what it would do for Medicare account per se, and not so much about shifting costs to seniors, (though they do note uninsured would go up). So, they are covering the issue with more nuance than they once did.

    • Isn’t it a more sensible suggestion to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 62?

      • @Wally R
        would be if the goal is to cover as many as possible and to try and get them into the biggest risk pool possible.

    • A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report (http://1.usa.gov/xpSWsj) examining the effects of gradually raising the eligibility ages for Medicare and Social Security is very timely. The CBO analysis finds that doing so would reduce federal spending on program benefits and encourage people to work longer. This in turn would grow the labor force and total economic output.

      The CBO estimates the effects of raising Social Security’s early eligibility age (EEA) from 62 to 64 and normal retirement age (NRA) from 67 to 70. The idea of raising the EEA and NRA is not new, and it claims broader support than other reforms (http://bit.ly/ynZkoc).