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Hanukkah begins tonight at sundown. I can't claim credit for this, but it's the perfect American holiday, because we can celebrate the burning of oil we don't have! Say, can you frack a menorah? Okay, to the links!
This is cynical, to say the least. It’s also completely wrong. The one thing we know will be a side effect of increasing the Medicare eligibility age is that insurance premiums will skyrocket. It will make Medicare more expensive because they lose relatively healthy 65 and 66 year-olds from their risk pool, and it will make private insurance more expensive because they add relatively sick 65 and 66 year-olds to their risk pool. Insurers hate the idea for just this reason. As a result, everyone’s premiums will rise, and cost-shifting will ensue from the government to its citizens.
People with busy lives don’t differentiate between what provisions in health care can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act and what provisions come from a fiscal deal. They’ll just know that the ACA got implemented in 2014, and as a result their insurance rates jumped. It’s maybe the worst strategic plan in the world to raise the Medicare age to bolster support for the Affordable Care Act by raising how much everyone has to spend on health insurance, particularly those who don’t get subsidies, the same “significant chunk of middle-class voters who have grown accustomed to the assumption that they will be able to afford health care.”
The idiocy on display here can hardly be believed. The dangerous part is how many members of the Democratic caucus might agree with this logic, Nancy Pelosi excepted.
Congressman John Garamendi takes to the blogs to argue against raising the Medicare eligibility age:
If the House Republican plan to increase the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 moves forward, health care delivery in America would become more expensive for everyone. Seniors remaining on Medicare would see a substantial increase in their premiums because seniors ages 65 and 66, in the aggregate, are a lot healthier than seniors 67 and above. By moving 65 and 66 year olds into the expensive private market, states, local governments, employers, and the general public would pick up the multi-billion dollar tab. For example, businesses who provide health insurance and have older workers would bear the full cost of health insurance - effectively shifting the cost to these employers and their employees.
If the goal is to keep the Medicare system running as efficiently as possible, we should be looking into ways to lower the age of Medicare eligibility, not ways to increase it. The Republican plan chips away at Medicare affordability - one of its greatest strengths - seemingly by design. I'm willing to compromise, but I'm not willing to compromise the health and economic security of seniors and everyone who hopes to become a senior.