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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:07 PM

Raising medicare eligibility age would be 100% political

Let's say, hypothetically, that some fiscal reality absolutely required cutting medicare.

On the one hand, we could reduce what medicare offers. On the other hand, we could prevent people 65-67 from being on medicare.

If our interest was helping people and keeping our national word we would (in the hypothetical situation where some reduction is required) reduce whatever benefits were least vital.

But that would be a reduction of benefits for people who are in medicare. And people who have something they already have reduced will complain.

So instead we think in terms of cutting benefits 100% for people 65-67... eliminating benefits entirely for that group, but eliminating benefits they have never received.

And politically we, as a nation, could say, "We didn't reduce anyone's benefits."

But maintaining benefits for people already in the system is not a health care decision at all. It's a political decision. With health care, a 100% reduction for one person is probably worse than a 10% reduction for ten people, in terms of outcomes.

So it is pure politics. Better to piss off one person than ten people... even if the one person ends up dead. Heck, dead people don't vote anyway.

There is no way that an arbitrary blunt instrument like denying benefits to all persons 65-67 is the best public health approach to a hypothetical budget shortfall.

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Reply Raising medicare eligibility age would be 100% political (Original post)
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 OP
RagAss Nov 2012 #1
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #2
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #3
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #4
former9thward Nov 2012 #5
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #6
former9thward Nov 2012 #8
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #7

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:10 PM

1. ....and if done - I might as well have voted for Romney.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:11 PM

2. Raising the SS age ought to be political suicide nt

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

3. The SS age was already raised to 67, years ago

It is a phased in thing, over time, from 65 to 66 to 67.

It is disguised some because with SS you can take early retirment at reduced benefits, but the full benefit age is already headed to 67, by law.

But there is no option to take reduced early medicare benefits.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:32 PM

4. It's a "divide and conquer" strategy

They could propose raising the Medicare age to 67, but only for people born after 1960.

That way people who are currently nearing retirement won't see a personal threat, so they won't act up too much.

Younger people will be hurt by this significantly, but they are not as aware of Medicare issues right now so they won't act up too much.

This would be the easiest way to turn people against each other and cut Medicare, and this is what they mean when they talk about controlling the long term growth of entitlements.


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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:39 PM

5. Medicare was always intended to be a companion to SS.

So it only makes sense that the eligibility age for Medicare should be the same as SS. SS is slowing rising to 67. Medicare should match it.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:42 PM

6. So you are instituting early medicare with reduced benefits?

If not, there's no comparability at all.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:05 PM

8. I would favor some version of that.

I don't pretend to know what the details might be but I think the two programs should work hand in hand.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:44 PM

7. You need to get with the program

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