The human cost of raising the Medicare age

  • Article by: Greg Sargent , Washington Post
  • Updated: December 12, 2012 - 3:14 PM

An estimated 434,000 seniors could be left without insurance annually by 2021.

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larrymickDec. 12, 12 3:40 PM

The Republicans want to increase the age for Medicare? And, Michelle Bachmann said Obamacare had death squads. Try being in your upper 60s without health insurance.

RICHARK0Dec. 12, 12 3:47 PM

Ultimately the less than "Rich" will have to work until they die. Thanks Republican office holders for your creative thinking and compassion for those who don't reside in the upper 20%, 30%, or even 40%. We will be holding on to our jobs and hence your kids jobs for many more years to come.

mharris77Dec. 12, 12 4:01 PM

“There are a range of ways to cut Medicare spending without harming beneficiaries.” – – – If that’s true, why on God’s green earth haven’t these “ways” already been implemented, if doing so doesn’t harm beneficiaries? Also, those trying to save the system by making these cuts are not out to “harm vulnerable beneficiaries.” Anyone with an ounce of actuarial expertise knows that the system will not survive without implementing drastic modifications. Ultimately, the choice boils down to either making some admittedly very objectionable modifications, or do nothing and watch the whole system collapse and take us all down with it.

Area51Dec. 12, 12 4:02 PM

I look forward to the writer's next article where he expands upon his comment that there are a range of things that can be done to control the cost of Medicare. It's not being snarky, it is best to focus on one topic, I just want to hear his other ideas too.

AdamSeDec. 12, 12 4:13 PM

What it SHOULD mean is people who aren't well off enough to afford their own early retirement shouldn't expect to have the government support their retirement starting in their early 60's anymore. The public retirement system was designed in a day when folks didn't live nearly as love and one might expect to be on SS and Medicare only a few years. Now the average person is living almost two full decades on the dole. The system isn't designed to support that. You live longer, you work longer, very simple.

kkjerDec. 12, 12 4:43 PM

Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements. I have been paying into Social Security since 1961 and Medicare since it started in 1966. Taking the benefits away for something you have paid for is like a Ponzi scheme. The government already owes 2.9 trillion dollars that they have BORROWED from SS and that amounts to 17.8% of the deficit. Now they want to take away benefits to pay other parts of the deficit without any agreement on when they will pay back what they already owe to Social Security. If they paid back what they owe to social security with the going rate of interest, SS would never go broke.

kkjerDec. 12, 12 4:45 PM

The first thing that should be cut are benefits and pensions to politicians. I wish I could work 6 years and have a lifetime pension.

drichmnDec. 12, 12 4:55 PM

" If that’s true, why on God’s green earth haven’t these “ways” already been implemented, if doing so doesn’t harm beneficiaries?" .... one of the ways is to allow medicare to negotiate drug prices, just like private insurers do. The Republican's don't want that. That is one of the things that is in President Obama's proposal.

aschroepferDec. 12, 12 4:55 PM

This article fails to mention that we as a nation are broke and it's due to spending. I see so many people who are broke with a smart phone in one hand and a starbucks late in the other. They should be saving for retirement and not expecting the government to take care of them. We should get of this and social security and quit taking it out of my paycheck.

LicoriceDec. 12, 12 4:57 PM

AdamSe, Social Security and Medicare are not "the dole." And age 65 (current Medicare eligibility) is not the "early 60s." And, Area 51, if you're looking for other opportunities to control costs in Medicare, I suggest that one element of such an approach might be to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies over price for Medicare Part D, which was passed in the Bush administration with no way to pay for it, and no negotiation possible. Another element might be leaving the eligibility age where it is but employing some sort of means test for those up to a threshold age.


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