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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:42 PM

Democrats Hint at Entitlement Program Cuts in U.S. Budget

Source: Businessweek

Two Senate Democratic leaders signaled they may have to accept cuts to U.S. entitlement programs to secure a deficit-reduction deal, after some Republicans expressed willingness to discuss higher tax rates for top earners.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, said he is open to alternatives including expanded means-testing -- charging higher-income seniors more -- for Medicare. Republicans are seeking limits to spending on entitlement programs. Durbin and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, didn’t rule them out while speaking with reporters today in Washington.
...
Regarding entitlement programs, Durbin said it would be “difficult” to change the calculation of Social Security cost- of-living increases, and raising the Medicare eligibility age could hurt poor seniors who retire early with health problems.

Higher-income senior citizens already pay more for Medicare benefits.

“The question is what other means-tests should apply,” Durbin said. “I think that is reasonable and certainly consistent with the Democratic message that those who are better off in our country should be willing to pay a little more,” said Durbin.



Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-06/democrats-hint-at-entitlement-program-cuts-in-u-dot-s-dot-budget



The article says COLA changes and raising the Medicare eligibility age were on the table in 2011 (we already know that), and that Boehner is proposing that now. But Durbin's comments about that hurting poor seniors is somewhat encouraging.

It seems like they are also weighing proposals for increased use of means-testing, which seems like the lesser of two evils, IMO. Doesn't seem like they would take Medicare away from higher income beneficiaries, but they might make them pay more for it. Durbin makes a good point about that being consistent with Democratic values that the wealthier should pay more.

I think it's time to start showing serious resistance on the Medicare eligibility age. Not just by posting on here...send letters to the president and to your members of Congress. Consider holding rallies if necessary.

68 replies, 9024 views

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Reply Democrats Hint at Entitlement Program Cuts in U.S. Budget (Original post)
democrattotheend Dec 2012 OP
msongs Dec 2012 #1
Joe Bacon Dec 2012 #48
Faygo Kid Dec 2012 #2
Mika Dec 2012 #3
julian09 Dec 2012 #9
Recursion Dec 2012 #23
alarimer Dec 2012 #68
Kaleva Dec 2012 #14
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #16
WHEN CRABS ROAR Dec 2012 #20
KoKo Dec 2012 #4
BlueToTheBone Dec 2012 #5
AnneD Dec 2012 #6
plethoro Dec 2012 #10
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #21
AnneD Dec 2012 #55
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #65
Recursion Dec 2012 #26
AnneD Dec 2012 #56
former9thward Dec 2012 #58
AnneD Dec 2012 #63
chuckstevens Dec 2012 #7
julian09 Dec 2012 #13
daa Dec 2012 #31
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #37
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #8
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #11
RVN VET Dec 2012 #32
INdemo Dec 2012 #12
obama2terms Dec 2012 #15
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #25
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #27
INdemo Dec 2012 #61
teddyhcraig Dec 2012 #17
craigmatic Dec 2012 #18
forestpath Dec 2012 #19
regnaD kciN Dec 2012 #22
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #24
humblebum Dec 2012 #28
teddyhcraig Dec 2012 #29
Deep13 Dec 2012 #30
adieu Dec 2012 #33
RVN VET Dec 2012 #34
unblock Dec 2012 #35
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #40
Phlem Dec 2012 #36
1ProudAtheist Dec 2012 #38
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #39
1ProudAtheist Dec 2012 #41
PoliticAverse Dec 2012 #51
wordpix Dec 2012 #42
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #43
DallasNE Dec 2012 #47
dlwickham Dec 2012 #44
Daniel537 Dec 2012 #59
athena Dec 2012 #60
markpkessinger Dec 2012 #62
dlwickham Dec 2012 #64
SoapBox Dec 2012 #45
DallasNE Dec 2012 #46
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #49
DallasNE Dec 2012 #50
David__77 Dec 2012 #52
Javaman Dec 2012 #53
NorthCarolina Dec 2012 #54
Rocky888 Dec 2012 #57
jsr Dec 2012 #66
alarimer Dec 2012 #67

Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:44 PM

1. democrats - never too late to sell out voters is it? nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:51 PM

48. Social Security and Medicare are ALREADY means tested!

Social Security has been means-tested ever since 1984 when Reagan started to count them as taxable income and Medicare has been means tested ever since 1997 when Medicare D was enacted. What really pisses me off about Durbin is his willingness to take a meat ax to these programs. Send Durbin a message, tell him do NOT even think about screwing around with Social Security or Medicare.

Contact him at:

http://durbin.senate.gov/

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:47 PM

2. Anybody ever mention raising the Social Security cap? Anybody?

I would pay more, but that's better than cutting benefits.

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:49 PM

3. Hell no. Except socialist Bernie Sanders.

All we hear is that SS is going off the cliff if we don't "reform" entitlements - by all prominent parties, and talking heads.


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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:01 PM

9. Medicare is in trouble, not SS although some one said, the disability part of ss is close to broke.

 

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Response to julian09 (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:24 PM

23. SSDI will get better when employment increases, though

It's never been in great shape, but part of its problem recently is that a lot of people who would otherwise be having jobs or being on unemployment are finding their way into the Disability system. (No, I'm not claiming "massive fraud", I'm claiming there's a very grey line between who is disabled and who isn't, so in a downturn a lot of marginally employable people wind up on SSDI.)

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:21 PM

68. We need to cut the military by a LOT

Talk about waste. ALL of the deficit is related to tax cuts and military spending. ALL of it.

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:09 PM

14. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) has.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021871773

I've written and called both of my senators asking them to consider supporting this bill.

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:13 PM

16. My position is that Soc Security should not be included AT ALL. It's not part of the budget.

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Response to Faygo Kid (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:16 PM

20. Yes yes, raise the cap.

And a massive out pouring of emails and phone calls to ALL the Reps to let them know on no uncertain terms, the will of the people.
We have the numbers.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:54 PM

4. Well it might just be posturing to get us all activated to "FAX, PHONE" and do our thing.

But, I just remember Durbin crying and apologizing to Repugs when he actually ventured out to make a statement against them in the Bush years. He always retracted with the tears.

These days whatever Durbin or our Dems do is fine with everyone. So, I certainly don't want to be an outlier in my criticism of Durbin.

Hey...He's probably the SAVIOR OF ALL! I Certainly don't want to get PPR'd for dissent. But, after so many decades of watching all of this...I find the peeps from them getting annoying unless they can deliver. Weak Toast isn't what we were hoping for....but, figure it's what we will get and we will be forced to live on it going forward.

But, hopefully the WARS will END? Ya' THINK?

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:54 PM

5. I've decided to put him on my call list

and tell him very frequently how wrong he is and how he should change parties or retire and get his 30 pieces of silver from some lobby group.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:56 PM

6. And so the betrayal starts.

Just can't wait to sell us out.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:02 PM

10. Yep. And it will cost Democrats severely for them to be the Party doing this. No

 

means testing.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:18 PM

21. Have you been under a rock? It has ALWAYS been a given that Medicare adjustments

would have to be made. It's in trouble financially and is part of the budget. The only haggling is about how much, and what to change.

There's no betrayal. No one has lied to you. No one important, anyway.

Now, Social Security is another matter. Schumer has been biting at the bit to give Social Security cuts over, when Obama and Reid have been steadfast that Soc Sec is not part of the budget, so if anything needs to be done with Social Security, it should be argued and handled later, separately.

If Obama and Reid flip on that....we CAN call that betrayal.

I've posted numerous posts the past year or so reiterating how Medicare cuts are coming. It's inevitable. It's only that the AGE shouldn't be raised...Durbin and others have spoken against that, which is a relief.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:49 PM

55. I have never understood why we don't have universal care....

and why it was taken off the table at the beginning of the health care debates. That was a gift to the Insurance lobby I am sure.

But I understand tinkering with medicare-but not too much. Social Security should be off the table.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:03 PM

65. The reason it was taken off the table was because the votes weren't there.

If you recall, the House of Representatives DID include the public option in the bill it passed. But when the bill went to the Senate, Reid couldn't get the votes, unless that was taken out. So it was either no reform act, or a reform act compromise with the more conservative Dems.

But the ACA is a good start. It WILL include a couple of federal policies in the exchanges, which is a sort of public option.

The age of eligibility of Medicare CAN'T go up and remain Medicare. People hang on, just to get to the age of getting Medicare. Raising the age is a Republic ruse to get Medicare to be used less and less, and wither on the vine.

IF they raise the age, something would need to be done to supply something else to help those caught in that death trap between retirement (or fired) and eligibility for Medicare. But since that would cost, too, I don't see the savings in that.

Social Security should be off the table, agreed. A LOT of people will revolt against that.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:27 PM

26. Do you support letting Medicare Part D bargain for cheaper drug prices? That's a "Medicare cut"

There are a lot of ways to cut Medicare, and some of them are very good ideas..

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Response to Recursion (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:21 PM

56. Always....

there is not enough bargaining going on as it is.

They could raise the max contribution into SS for higher incomes instead of the cap that they currently have.

A means test for SS is also ok. I know some well heeled that can write a check for their yearly amount and it isn't a blip on their radar. Now they have millions in savings but they get a SS check when they retire. I personally would be too proud to get a SS check if I had millions and I know some very wealthy that are the same way. But then I have seem some cheap rich ba$*!%&s that collected it even though they couldn't ever spend the money they had. And then they give it to their trust fund babies.

A progressive tax is to level the field a bit. It helps the poor but is not so difficult on the wealthy.

That money is to prevent the retired elderly from destitution and insure social stability.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #56)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:08 PM

58. SS is mean tested. It has been since 1984.

The example you give of "they have millions in savings but get a SS check" is not reality. All of their SS would be taken when they filed their income tax. Any means testing proposals involve people with income and assets much lower than that.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #58)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:48 PM

63. Then some of these folks...

are sheltering their income in ways that they can get it. I will have to listen carefully to some of them. I think this falls into the rule of own nothing and control everything accounting.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:58 PM

7. Hey Democrats:

YOU'RE holding the cards here. Do NOT fold. As someone who makes less than $ 250,000 a year, I would gladly accept paying $2000 more a a year in taxes if it meant that the greedy uber-wealthy SOB's would have to start paying their fair share. Going over the cliff is better than accepting any cuts to entitlements. By the way: how is it an entitlement when we pay for it?

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Response to chuckstevens (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:08 PM

13. The cuts he was refering;, is to providers such as hospitals, doctors, drug companies, labs waste.

 

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Response to julian09 (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:43 PM

31. Bullshit those cuts mean doctors won't take new patients. Nt

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Response to daa (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:24 PM

37. Have to agree. nt

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:59 PM

8. Please don't cave yet.

 

Why not wait until after the pending let's-send-even-more-American-jobs-to-foreign-countries "free trade" agreement is ready to be signed?

That way, instead of being outraged twice, long-term Democrats can be outraged only once.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:06 PM

11. all posturing - and we already means test

 

the rich pay more Medicare taxes as it is.

Calm down.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:58 PM

32. Defining "rich" can be, well, a bitch

The means test in Medicare B affects some people I'd consider rich. It also affects people who I'd consider securely comfortable, but not living in the lap of luxury.

If your yearly income in 2011 was You pay (in 2013)
File individual tax return
$85,000 or less $104.90
above $85,000 up to $107,000 $146.90
above $107,000 up to $160,000 $209.80
above $160,000 up to $214,000 $272.70
above $214,000 $335.70

I've paid the higher premium (for one year) and didn't mind because I'd had a good year. My concern is that politicians begin talking about raising rates on the "wealthy" and, as the conversation continues, the term "wealthy" is used to encompass more and more people, and raising rates that have already been raised could easily price Medicare out of range for some people, people who paid into it their entire work lives, people whose investment income has finally recovered and ripened after Bush, but who also continue to work to pay mortgages and help their kids who would with student loan payments, etc.

I'm concerned that Durbin may want to raise all but the bottom rate significantly and drive me and others making more than $85,000 out of Medicare altogether. That would result in a lot of us -- maybe most of us -- leaving the system we've paid for, and not paying Medicare anything.

And, besides, increasing those already higher premiums for people making less than $250,000 would comprise a back door tax.


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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:06 PM

12. President Obama declared during his campaign that

Social Security will not be cut while he was President and he also said medicare will not be cut but realigned so as to cut the waste..
I will do the research and confirm this if you would like...This/these are the main reasons millions of voters voted for the Presidents reelection.If he back peddles Democrats will be in some deep shit.

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Response to INdemo (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:10 PM

15. the deal

To get top tax rates raised this might have happen

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Response to obama2terms (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:26 PM

25. I think some cuts have to happen to get that deal

But I don't think raising the eligibility age is a good idea. It will cost seniors way more than it will save the government.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:31 PM

27. Also, welcome to DU. And I like your username!

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #25)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:35 PM

61. That would be called caving in to the Republicans as always

Democrats need some bakbone..We gained a couple Senators that will join with Bernie Sanders fight but that may not be enough.
Entitlements should be off the table..What do you suppose would happen if lowering Congress members salaries and require that they pay their own health insurance premiums were on the bargaining table? Just how much hell do you think they would raise?...Nope entitlement cuts off the table for negotiating period.Realigning Medicare to cut out unnecessary admin. fees yes but raising the age or cuts..off limits.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:14 PM

17. Help me get 25,000 signatures on this WhiteHouse.gov petition to change the system.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:14 PM

18. Not this bullshit again. Why do this? Just go off the cliff

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:15 PM

19. "May have to accept" - what bullshit! Those two are rubbing their hands in glee.

 

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:22 PM

22. Read more carefully before turning on the outrage machines...

The "cuts" Durbin is talking about accepting aren't ones the Republicans are interested in -- and the way he phrased it makes it clear that the ones they DO want are off-the-table.

Means-testing for upper-income Medicare recipients is a far cry from raising the eligibility age or chopping COLA for Social Security recipients; in fact, making the rich pay more for Medicare would probably be anathema to the G.O.P. Our "reasonable" concessions are only the ones they won't go for. See how the game is played?

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:25 PM

24. I think you are right

I was afraid from the title that people would freak out.

But I am reading elsewhere on the web that they are considering raising the eligibility age, and the fact that AARP, AFL-CIO and some liberals in the House and Senate are tweeting about why it is a bad idea makes me think it might be under consideration.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:35 PM

28. The Number 1 Priority still must be to create new jobs and bring back jobs from

 

abroad. More jobs equal more taxpayers equals more taxes collected.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:40 PM

29. Help me get 25,000 signatures on this WhiteHouse.gov petition to change the system.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:43 PM

30. Y'all better start hinting about something else. nt

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:58 PM

33. You idiot democrat senators

you must know by now that they'll move the goalposts. Once you agree to entitlement cuts, they'll ask for more and deny the request for raising taxes on the top 2%. Learn the opponent's strategy. It's simple, and it's even simpler to defeat: ignore them.

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Response to adieu (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:03 PM

34. Agree

There is no one in the GOP willing to sit down and honestly negotiate. And there is nothing that Obama could put on the table that wouldn't be described by the GOP in insulting terms -- and rejected out of hand. But I think most americans are on to the game, now. And I actually hope the GOP (Boehner, Cantor, Turtle Face and Sister Lyndsay and the rest) stick to their guns so that even more Americans will see what a sorry, unpatriotic lot they are.

Stay the course, keep reminding the people what's at stake, keep attacking the GOP for the sycophants of the rich that we know they are, and let the GOP go down in flames.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:10 PM

35. if we HAVE to cut medicare/social security (not at all a given), means-testing seems the best route.

most important is to not cut anything for those who really need it.

but if you're earning well over, $250,000 or $500,000 WHILE getting benefits from these programs, it's fair to say that these programs are merely gravy and i don't mind full taxes or even scaling back the benefits.

i'll bookend this by reiterating that my strong preference is for NO cuts at all. only that if we have to cut, something that only affects those who are still earning big bucks in retirement seems the best way to go.

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Response to unblock (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:35 PM

40. I agree with you

I am writing a paper on why raising the Medicare eligibility age is a bad idea, and one alternative I am exploring is imposing a surcharge for beneficiaries who make over a certain amount, probably $85,000 (the current amount to trigger a premium surcharge). That way, they would have the option to retire, but if they decide to keep working they have to pay more for Medicare.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:21 PM

36. Good Ol' DICK

I wrote to this fuck last week. What were the words...

something like with friends like you who needs Republicans?



-p

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:28 PM

38. The Best Way

 

to strengthen Medicare AND Social Security, would be to institute Medicare and Social Security taxes on capital gains. As it stands now, those having income from capital gains pay no SS or Medicare taxes on that portion of their income, yet it counts towards their eligibilty for those programs.

The next best alternative would be to LOWER the eligibilty age and allow for early buy-ins that would bolster the premiums being collected. Because typically those new enrollees would be healthier, the outlays would be less to include them.

I am sick and tired of seeing cuts to recipients and providers, increased premiums, and reduced benefits. Major reform is needed, but sensable reforms.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #38)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:33 PM

39. Actually, I learned today that Obamacare does that

Starting I believe this year, the ACA will impose a 3.8% Medicare tax on capital gains. I was unaware of that until we discussed the ACA today in my employee benefits class. I was very happy to learn that. My professor also thinks that the president is pushing to include higher capital gains tax rates as part of the tax hike on the top 2%.

Hopefully they will eventually do the same for Social Security.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:36 PM

41. The Capital Gains Tax Rate

 

will go back from the current 15% to 20% unless the Village idiot's Welfare For The Rich gets renewed. That was part of the tax cuts that led to the theft of so much wealth by the top 2%. Those cuts should have never been passed.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:16 AM

51. Lowering the eligibility age doesn't help since premiums collected are only a fraction of the cost

for covering a Medicare recipient (most comes from payroll taxes for Medicare Part A, and general revenue for part B and D).


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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:45 PM

42. wealthy seniors do not need Medicare, period. Stop taking it from our (middle class) backs

Means-test wealthy seniors to start. People like Rmoney, Queen Ann, Bush 41 and W, Cheney, and Warren Buffett do not need Medicare.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:46 PM

43. I have mixed feelings

On the one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, if Medicare becomes a means-tested program it will be easier politically to cut in the future.

I don't support excluding anyone of age from the program, but I have no problem with higher premiums for those who can afford it.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:41 PM

47. Medicare Has Two Levels Of Means Testing Today

A couple of years ago the income levels that triggered higher premiums was $85k and $135k. With the first break you paid something like an extra $60 a month and the 2nd break the extra was something like $235 a month. (This is from memory and is probably not exact). And, yes, mandatory 401-k withdrawals count toward the income brackets.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:55 PM

44. I have no problem with means testing



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Response to dlwickham (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:58 PM

59. +1

Its common sense.

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Response to dlwickham (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:24 PM

60. Means testing would turn Social Security and Medicare into welfare programs

at which point they would no longer have the support of the majority of Americans.

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Response to athena (Reply #60)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 06:38 PM

62. Bingo! n/t

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Response to athena (Reply #60)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:56 PM

64. no they wouldn't

and the majority of Americans would probably still support them because they would be accepting social security and medicare at some point in their life

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:22 PM

45. The COLA of 2013 is....1.7%!

and then the deduction from SS for Medicare went up so.....it's a wash.

1.7%? Something is better than nothing...we think...and then Mom laughed.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:29 PM

46. Medicare Eligibility Age

I see no issue with treating Medicare identical to Social Security. When you retire you draw both at the same time and with the same rules - no more Part A kicking in at age 65 and Part B and C kicking in when you retire some months or years later. If you retire early you pay an increased Medicare premium, just like you take lower Social Security payments. That also implies that Social Security benefits would be means tested based on income as happens today with Medicare. That should actually extend the life of both programs by several years.

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Response to DallasNE (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:13 AM

49. I think Medicare would be more of a hardship

Because it would be a flat inability to get any benefits until age 67. With Social Security, you can begin collecting at 62 (but you get lower benefits if you do that.)

I am very much in favor of measures to ensure the long-term solvency of Medicare, because I want the system to be solvent when my mom retires (I have no hope of Medicare in its current form being there for me by the time I retire). But I don't think raising the eligibility age is the best way to do it, because the costs to people ages 65-67 are much higher than the savings to the government. I am also concerned about the effects it would have on small businesses that in some cases are already struggling to cope with the new mandates under the ACA.

The good news is, from what I have read, any hike in the eligibility age would not be instantaneous. It would be phased in gradually over 5 or 10 years, going up by one or two months every year. So people who are retiring in the next couple years will only have to work a few extra months, and later retirees will have more time to plan and hopefully save for it.

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Response to democrattotheend (Reply #49)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:34 AM

50. Yes, I Know How It Works

I'm saying that people who continue to work continue with their current health insurance, as I did. I got no break in premiums when I turned 65 and automatically started having Part A coverage (hospitalization). I also know that not everybody has employer provided health insurance when they turn 65 and I haven't thought through how to handle that although under ACA the percentage covered goes up making it less of a problem. Obviously universal care would take care of that completely. But in theory it makes perfect sense to tie the two programs together at the hip.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:23 AM

52. Our progressives must absolutely oppose this.

We cannot even allow means testing. We must maintain the social base of these programs.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:56 AM

53. I refuse to pile on with the other debbie downers in this thread.

I choose to wait and see what happens. You know, not have a knee jerk reaction.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:23 AM

54. Surprise, surprise

NOT. Here we go, we're obviously nearing the final chapters of the script now.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:58 PM

57. I have been sending

To the whitehouse and sen. Bill Nelson with reply request for three weeks, twice a week. No response has been returned. That is unusual and worrisome.

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:13 PM

66. Awesome

They just couldn't wait, could they?

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Response to democrattotheend (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:20 PM

67. Fucking traitors

I registered as unaffiliated when I moved and, if they accept these cuts (which are bullshit anyway since SS at least does not add to the deficit) I will work to elect progressive people, regardless of party and get rid of these turncoat Demd.

They are about to reap the whirlwind with this.

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