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Medicare emerging as prime target in U.S. "fiscal cliff" talks [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-12 03:03 AM
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Medicare emerging as prime target in U.S. "fiscal cliff" talks
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Medicare emerging as prime target in U.S. "fiscal cliff" talks

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON | Wed Dec 5, 2012 5:52pm EST

(Reuters) - <snip>

The proposals most often discussed that would directly affect Medicare's 52 million beneficiaries are more means-testing, meaning higher costs for wealthier retirees, and raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

Other proposals on the table would reduce payments for hospitals, nursing homes, drug makers, insurers and physicians.

Medicare, a $590 billion-a-year program long seen as an untouchable third rail in U.S. politics, has been augmented but rarely trimmed. A change in eligibility would not alter traditional benefits. But Medicare would not be available to all senior citizens aged 65 and older for the first time since the program's creation in 1965.

And, by "emerging," the author actually means that Medicare, Medicaid and Old Age, Survivors and Disablity Insurance have been the primary targets for years.

And, by "more means testing," the author actually means introducing means testing for the very first time since the program was established.

Means testing will turn Medicare into a welfare program and we all know how "invincible" welfare programs are.

BTW, I wonder, where are all the stories about which specific cuts to defense and other federal budget items will be made?
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