A Few More Thoughts on the Bad Idea of Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age

November 29th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Many good comments on this post as to why increasing the Medicare eligibility age is a bad idea that shouldn’t be on the fiscal cliff negotiating table (which is not the same thing as saying other potential Medicare savings shouldn’t be on the table).

Remember to read this CBPP piece on the issue, and listen to this well-done NPR story too.

It’s your classic cost shift and it actually ends up costing more to the unified system (public + private) than it saves, and for a pretty obvious reason: you’re taking the younger, relative healthier 65 and 66 year-olds out of the more efficient program (Medicare controls costs better than private providers) and shifting some portion of them over to private insurers where they’ll now be the older, relatively least healthy participants.

See Jon Cohn on these and related points as well.

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2 comments in reply to "A Few More Thoughts on the Bad Idea of Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age"

  1. Sue says:

    “this well-done NPR story too”

    Yes, I really thought that Julie Rovner’s part of this story was well-done, though the introduction to the story (about 30 seconds in) says that “one popular proposal…” is to raise the Medicare eligibility age. With whom is this idea popular? Certainly not with the American people, as this poll clearly shows:


    Even Republicans don’t like this idea, by a WIDE margin. I guess it’s popular with Republican politicians, but that seems to be about it…

  2. Jill SH says:

    Did I ever tell you about a friend I had back in the 70s who had worked for Connecticut Public TV doing the graphics (back in the old days when we used Presstype) and lived in mortal fear of leaving the L out of Public?