Report: Raising Medicare Age Will Increase Health Costs

The Center On Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Paul N. Van de Water is out with a new report warning lawmakers on the Super Committee against considering proposals that would gradually raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) recently accepted the idea as part of an overall package to increase the debt ceiling and many expect that policy makers will revisit the option in their search for savings.

Van de Water argues that raising the age would actually increase overall system costs and only save the federal government money “by shifting costs to most of the 65- and 66-year-olds who would lose Medicare coverage, to employers that provide health coverage for their retirees, to Medicare beneficiaries, to younger people who buy insurance through the new health insurance exchanges, and to states”:

Be sure to read the full report here, but suffice it to say raising the Medicare age — aka pushing 65 and 66 year-olds into insurance plans on the exchange — is just another way of partially privatizing the program, shrinking it, and ultimately moving the nation closer to the conservatives’ goal of eliminating it entirely.