Sunday‘s NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ and ABC’s ‘This Week’ both discussed the role Medicare plays in the Fiscal Cliff game. Both programs pointed out that there would NOT be a bottom line financial benefit if the Medicare eligibility age was raised from 65 to 67.
Sure, the Federal Government would save about $5.7 Billion if the age change takes place. The costs will be past on to the 65-66 year olds ($3.7 Billion), Employers (Small Businesses–$4.5 Billion), Other Medicare Enrollees ($2.5 Billion) and States (our taxes–$0.7 Billion, or $700 million). We will spend $11.4 Billion to save $5.7 Billion. What a bargain!
Medicare, which is a single payer system, is a more efficient system than the present private profit driven health insurance industry. If you change the age of eligibility to 67, we will have to pay the higher cost for the insurance. Some, who had plan to retire at 65, will work two more years. That will delay getting younger, less expensive workers into the work force.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) on Meet The Press discussed the plight of the Young Seniors:
“When you talk about raising the Medicare eligibility age, there’s one key question–what happens to that early retiree? What about that gap in coverage between their workplace and Medicare? How will they be covered? Now I listen to Republicans say we can’t wait to repeal Obamacare and the insurance exchanges. Well, where does a person turn if they’re 65 years of age and the Medicare eligibility age is 67? They have two years there where they may not have the best of health. They need to have accessible, affordable medical insurance during that period.”
If raising the eligibility age for Medicare is on the Fiscal Cliff negotiations table, don’t be surprised if our Congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, votes to raise it. He has been repeating the Tea Party mantra that the fiscal crisis is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Raising the age will technically save the government money. The Insurance Industry donated $95,500 to Reed’s last campaign.
You can contact Rep. Reed at https://reed.house.gov/contact-me/email-me .
The phone/fax for his Washington Office is Phone: (202) 225-3161/Fax: (202) 226-6599
The phone/fax for his Olean Office is Phone: (716)-379-8434 Fax: (716)-806-1069
The phone/fax for his Corning office is Phone: (607) 654-7566 Fax: (607) 654-7568