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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:01 AM

Pelosi: Dems must say No to raising Medicare eligibility age

Source: Washington Post

Posted by Greg Sargent on December 5, 2012

It’s a perennial fear among liberals: In the quest for a fiscal cliff deal, the White House and Democrats will ultimately acquiesce to GOP demands to raise the Medicare eligibility age. But one Democrat is drawing a line against this possibility: Nancy Pelosi.

“I am very much against that, and I think most of my members are,” Pelosi said in an interview with me today. “I don’t see any reason why that should be in any agreement.”

The argument against raising the eligibility age is that it would leave hundreds of thousands of seniors without health coverage and wouldn’t raise that much money for deficit reduction, since many of those seniors would go into Medicaid or the Obamacare exchanges, offsetting savings. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that it would save $125 billion over 10 years.

Pelosi echoed this complaint succinctly, saying: “Show me the money.” She also said flatly that she didn’t believe raising the eligibility age would be in the final deal, despite GOP demands: “I don’t anticipate that it will be in it.”

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/05/pelosi-dems-must-say-no-to-raising-medicare-eligibility-age/

25 replies, 3829 views

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pelosi: Dems must say No to raising Medicare eligibility age (Original post)
Chef Eric Dec 2012 OP
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 #1
Kolesar Dec 2012 #2
onehandle Dec 2012 #11
Maineman Dec 2012 #3
dotymed Dec 2012 #14
xtraxritical Dec 2012 #16
freshwest Dec 2012 #25
decayincl Dec 2012 #15
peacebird Dec 2012 #19
csziggy Dec 2012 #23
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #4
Coyotl Dec 2012 #5
still_one Dec 2012 #7
still_one Dec 2012 #6
forestpath Dec 2012 #8
spedtr90 Dec 2012 #9
Fence rider Dec 2012 #10
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #13
csziggy Dec 2012 #24
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #12
LaPera Dec 2012 #17
They_Live Dec 2012 #18
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #20
1ProudAtheist Dec 2012 #21
Swede Atlanta Dec 2012 #22

Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:12 AM

1. Yes, but it would hurt people

The Republicans won't sign on to a deal unless it hurts people.

Just call them out for what they are; a bunch of maladjusted sadists.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:27 AM

2. 65 and 66 year old Americans don't cost Medicare a lot of money

Because they are younger and have less "medical needs".
Raising the eligibility age is a hollow gesture.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:29 AM

11. According to Lawrence O'Donnell last night, 65 and 66 year olds save us all money...

...by just being on Medicare.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:04 AM

3. Increase the number of younger people, lower the Medicare age.

I am 69. The two absolute worst things they can do (for people) is to raise the age of Medicare and damage the cost of living adjustment for Social Security. No doubt these are exactly what Republicans want to do.

What can be done about medical expenses? Add younger people to Medicare, negotiate drug prices, campaign and inform people regarding the effects (and pervasiveness) of unhealthy foods, tax junk food, outlaw non-food foods, tax drug advertisements (!), build more bike paths, actually regulate and restrict chemicals used in and on food products, stop the apparent misinformation about cholesterol and saturated fats, stop subsidizing dairy products and sugar producers, stop the tobacco company and coal industry's strategy of using confusion to defend their health damaging products, decrease pollution, stop the Koch brothers and other polluters from buying elections, and warn the public about chemicals in the home (cleaning agents, etc.). I am sure the list goes on and on.

Related: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is not the same as life, liberty, and the pursuit of money.

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Response to Maineman (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:55 AM

14. Yes, IMO the age should be lowered to birth.

Americans would save billion$ if we would implement "cradle to grave" health care for all. Negotiate drug prices (every country but America does) and guarantee M.D.'s a generous salary. Do away with for-profit health care and the evil, profit driven "health" insurance companies.
This would not only save average Americans tons of money but it would greatly increase our health care results. Currently, many M.D.'s
enter their profession because of the large paychecks guaranteed through our for-profit, insurance driven system. The sickest people are not even allowed to purchase (or are unable to afford it, until 2014) medical insurance. The premise of the ACA (Obama care) is that because of the large pool of people who will be eligible for health insurance (for-profit of course), the costs will go down precipitously. Of course there is no legislation or agreements with these insurance companies that guarantee lower costs. There is barely any competition.
IMO, these insurance companies will not lower the costs of their product. There is no impetus for them to do so. We ALL know that corporations are legally obligated to make the most money possible for their share holders.
While Obamacare is a step in the right direction, it has the very real possibility of blowing up in our faces. Without some way to guarantee lower premiums and quality health care, we still find ourselves at the mercy of profit driven insurer's.


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Response to dotymed (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 12:32 PM

16. "Of course there is no legislation or agreement with these insurance companies that guarantee lower

 

costs" Part of the Affordable Care Act law stipulates that insurance companys cannot spend more than 20% of premium collections on General and Administrative costs. In other words the other 80% must be spent on "direct" health care. It's a move in the direction of cost reduction. Not enough, but a start.

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Response to dotymed (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:23 PM

25. Exactly!

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Response to Maineman (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:41 AM

15. I totally agree

What's more, lowering the eligibility age to say 60 makes it possible for those folks to retire or go part-time. That frees up a job for someone younger and will lower the unemployment rate. Medicare itself is a very efficient program, dollar wise. It is the whole health care / health information system which is broken and too damned expensive.

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Response to decayincl (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:48 PM

19. Bingo!!! And Welcome to DU!

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Response to Maineman (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:45 PM

23. Heck everybody that ends up on a federal health exchange

Should go on Medicare. Those of us who are in states (Florida*) where the governors don't want to set up a health insurance exchange would be perfectly happy to be on Medicare!

*While Scott has said he will, experts want the feds to do it since Scott dragged his feet and the Florida legislature isn't going to be any help. Besides, I wouldn't trust Scott to hand out tissues much less set up an efficient health care system that doesn't pour money into his and his cronies' pockets.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:06 AM

4. Bad start. They should have proposed making it 60

then settle for 62, than two years from now make it 59.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:22 AM

5. Dems will not betray the people on this one. It would repudiate all we stand for.

This is simply beyond possible for Dems to accept. It would repudiate all we stand for.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:39 AM

7. I would not bet on it. I saw them turn on a dime making sure the ACA would not have a public option

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:37 AM

6. You better not backtrack on that Nancy, but to be frank I don't trust you or a lot of other Dems to

hold to that.

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Response to still_one (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:46 AM

8. Neither do I. Steny Hoyer wouldn't give a straight answer on it last night on Ed's show either.

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:12 AM

9. Two years ago he was clear. 1983 was when the SS age was raised...

Jan 2011 - Hoyer said this week that the political reality is that the program may need to save more money.


“It is our belief that you can — as was done in 1983 on Social Security — and as we are committed to doing, we can adjust Medicare provisions, and we can adjust those in the future, and perhaps we can make some adjustments for present recipients,” Hoyer said.

“We want to make sure that the benefits that are available to recipients, which they need, are protected, so within that context, just as we did with Social Security in 1983, we need to address Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, to ensure their continued availability and sustainability over the long term.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47899.html#ixzz2EHivHoxU




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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:22 AM

10. When does it stop?

I have worked all of my life thinking that when I get older I would be rewarded for my efforts by recieving the money I have paid in for 40 years now. Just as I get close to being able to rest my tired bones they are going to take the carrot on the stick and extend it out a little more so I have to work more. I guess it is very easy to do when you have voted to give yourself lifetime benefits. How can you do this to us??? How? This country is what it is because of it's citizens assholes, NOT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
If the Pres. caves on this I will be absolutely stunned!

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Response to Fence rider (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:44 AM

13. Sorry, the President isn't about to give you more gifts

"I think there's a recognition that maybe they can accept some rate increases as long as it's combined with serious entitlement reform and additional spending cuts... we can probably solve this in about a week. It's not that tough,"
- President Obama, yesterday

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Response to Fence rider (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:50 PM

24. My husband wants to retire but he has to work for insurance

Neither of us could get private insurance for any price - now with ACA we could probably get it but until the health exchanges are set up we couldn't afford it.

We thought he could get Medicare when he got Social Security but now we find out that isn't true so either he'll have to work to age 65 - or whatever age they jack it up to - or pray that Florida gets some kind of exchange.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:35 AM

12. This is the line in the sand.

And I feel it is crystal clear. You may find Dems who support drone strikes, bailing out banksters and profiting off climate change by supporting Wall St investments but I hold out hope that our entitlements are truly off limits.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:39 PM

17. NO!

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:33 PM

18. lower the eligibility age

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:10 PM

20. Absolutely. We should be LOWERING the age, not raising it. ~nt

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:13 PM

21. Medicare: Some Facts And Truths

 

1-Raising the elgibilty age will actually weaken the viability of the program.

2-Raising the eligibility age is just a ruse that will be another step towards elimination of Medicare by the Pukes.

3-The economic impact of raising the eligibilty age would be catastrphic because it would create 2 more years of everyone being forced to buy private health insurance at a minimum of 20% higher cost than Medicare.

4-Because of the way that Medicare is funded (through payroll taxes, premiums, and benefit taxes) and the existance of a Trust Fund, it would only affect our deficit amd our National Debt when that Trust Fund is completely exhauseted. (2024) Up until then, all savings from any cuts would have to be put into that Trust Fund and not used for deficit cuts or Debt reduction.

5-IF.........and that is a huge IF.......politicians are genuinely interested in saving Medicare and making it viable for a longer period of time, then the actual action to take is to LOWER the eligibilty age and charge early recipients a buy-in fee on top of premiums. The influx of capital along with the inclusion of millions of healthier individuals would naturally create a larger Trust Fund, and extend the viability of the program.

6-My personal beliefs on this are that politicians....all of them, want to access the medicare and Social Security Trust Fund monies and use them to for their partisan purposes, leaving the programs broke and expendable.

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Response to Chef Eric (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:45 PM

22. I recognize the impact that increased longevity has on the solvency of both Medicare and SS.....

 

It is a fact that Americans are, on average, living longer than ever before. These programs were designed and created at a time when the average retiree wasn't expected to live more than maybe 10 years into retirement.

Those are basic facts.

But as people live longer, they draw on and rely on these programs for a longer period of time. My father worked for 36 years. He started drawing SS @ 62 and participating in Medicare @ 65. He was 88 when he died earlier this year. So he drew Social Security benefits for 27 years or 75% as many years as he contributed. Similarly for Medicare he participated for 25 years or 69% as many years as he worked.

That model, with the huge bubble of baby boomer retirees (of which I am one but at the tail end), is going to be stretched. I'm not saying going bankrupt or failing but will be stretched given current benefits and, for Medicare, increased cost of care.

So, do we need to find ways to improve the situation? Absolutely.

With Medicare, BO has already outlined ways to eliminate costs and inefficiencies on the provider side that extends the current benefits by 8 years. We will have to do more. I suggest that premiums can and should be means tested. Some progressives would disagree with me saying that if two people both contributed to Medicare they should not pay different premiums simply because one person made more money, saved more money, inherited more money, etc. But it must be done.

We have to move toward providing health care and not sick care. Health is when you are healthy. We need to work to improve the overall health of seniors. That is different than giving them prescriptions, procedures, operations and the like when they become sick.

As for SS, at some point we likely will need to raise the eligibility age. But whenever we do it it is going to significantly impact those seniors. Today, age discrimination in the workplace is rampant. Look at the number of 50+ year old people that were laid off in the current downturn relative to younger workers. These employees did not have statistically different performance evaluations, etc. than their younger peers. But companies, faced with a need to reduce numbers, picked off the older workers in the mistaken belief the older workers were too highly paid, cost too much in terms of health care and other benefits, weren't as "with it" as younger workers, etc.

Until we can address the issue of age discrimination, any move to raise the eligibility age for SS or Medicare is going to significantly impact those older Americans. We can do better.

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