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View Diary: Breaking: Chained CPI Dropped from White House Budget (42 comments)

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  •  You are right that it destroys (0+ / 0-)

    the universality of the program. But having richer Americans pay a little bit more in Medicare premiums compared to poorer Americans, is not the worst thing in the world. It's actually pretty "progressive" in some ways. Better than cutting with Medicare coverage or raising regressing payroll taxes on working-class Americans.

    It's already implemented in Medicare Part B and the income measures are really quite high for retired persons. The increased premiums start at 170,000 MAGI (for married couples). I mean that's really quite high on the income scale - these people can likely afford to pay a few hundred dollars more a year.

    •  It's not progressive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sulthernao, corvo

      6 Reasons Joseph Stiglitz and Other Top Economists Think Means-Testing Medicare & Social Security Is a Destructive Idea: http://www.alternet.org/...

      You'll only save money if you set the threshold very low, and you'll keep pushing it lower. If you have the threshold set high, why even bother? You'd get more money anyway by taxing them rather than asking for out-of-pocket expenses.

      •  Yeah, I agree with that. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think it will really save much money, or it is something that I necessarily support. I just said it's not the worst thing in the world. My real point is that if I had choose between equivalent spending reductions/revenue increases such as reducing Medicare benefits, increasing the payroll tax rate (which acts in a regressive manner), and having wealthier beneficiaries pay more, I would choose the latter. It is definitely not my ideal way of going about it.

        I personally I agree with you that we should just increase the taxes (on richer Americans) instead of making people pay out-of-pocket, as well. It's just more efficient. I strongly support that ACA provision for the Medicare surcharge tax on investment income above 250,000. My personal view is that this is one of the best ways to get more funding for Medicare.

        But if Republicans refuse to allow for a tax increase on the wealthy, then this may be a way to be a pseudo-tax. That's all.

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