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Elderly man with cane
Changes to Social Security are not in the cards in fiscal cliff artifice talks, if White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Senate Democratic leadership are to be believed. And it shouldn't be, since, as they say, it doesn't contribute at all to the deficit. That's very positive forward motion.

Here's more positive news, from Greg Sargent, on raising the eligibility age for Medicare.

But as best as I can determine after talking to Dem aides, this isn’t on the table. It’s something Republicans want to be part of the talks but not one Dems are seriously entertaining, at least for now. Dick Durbin and other Democrats have repeatedly said raising the retirement age is off the table. Obama reportedly signaled openness to it during the 2011 debt ceiling talks, so if some on the left still want to be vigilant about this possibility, it’s understandable—after all, ultimately Dems will likely fall in line behind what Obama wants in the end. But keep in mind Obama was in a significantly weaker position last time and may not see the need to make that concession now.
That the talk about holding a line against this benefit cut is coming from Durbin could be a strong indication that President Obama is abandoning this idea floated during his grand bargain talks with Boehner back in 2011, and Durbin is Obama's closest ally in the Congress. He makes a very good point:
“To think that a person would retire at the age of 64 or 65 and not have Medicare coverage until 67 raises the obvious question: These people in their mid-60s, probably with a health history, will find it difficult to buy health insurance on the open market or afford whatever is available,” Durbin said. “I want to make sure there are no gaps in coverage for those who need it the most: retired Americans who have a health history and can’t find affordable health insurance. So … let us make certain that there are insurance exchanges, good competition, and affordable health care available for those seniors.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi takes a similar position against this change, as has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

This hard line, along with the unified demand from Democrats that Republicans put up their own ideas on entitlement cuts, seems to indicate that the Democrats know they've got the leverage in this negotiating process. And they might just be united in using it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good news. Boehner needs to realize (34+ / 0-)

    that the best deal he ever ccould have got was the one he rejected in 2011 and ever possible deal from here on will be progressively worse for him.

    Boehner bet on the election and he lost.

    Now will come a true ass kicking and I will enjoy it.

    I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

    by TomP on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:07:51 PM PST

  •  Good news but I don't like believing (9+ / 0-)

    third-hand knowledge knowing how things went in the health care fight.  Obama sort of sold out the progressives on it by killing the public option.

    I am encouraged that Obama had Jay Carney say something about Social Security, but Barack Obama should say it himself if that's what he believes.   I guess I'm hoping that Obama isn't planning on selling us out on the Medicare eligibility age.

    •  why? i don't get the medicare age raising problem? (0+ / 0-)

      so what if we raise the age for enrolling in medicare?  we'll have single payer in a decade or two, so, it won't matter in the end.  and even if we didn't, nobody who's unable to afford health insurance a few couple years before they are eligible for medicare will have to pay for it.  they'll get medicaid.  

      it's like everyone forgets that Obamacare passed.  well it did pass and there are states already moving forward with single payer.  it's going to happen.  it's a done deal.  even if we lost the election it would have only been delayed.  the tide has turned.  we won.  everything is going to be okay.

      •  People Live and Die Before the End. A Decade (6+ / 0-)

        is over 2/3 your lifespan on retirement.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:10:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, let the GOP propose raising it! Let them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        have their fingerprints all over it.  If not, you better believe they will demagogue it to death until the next election.

      •  Are you kidding? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, Over the Edge, rlochow

        I'm 52.  If they raise the qualifying age of Medicare to 67 I'm going to be totally screwed.  I make too much to qualify for Medicaid and I'll pay a much, much higher premium for private insurance age 65-67.  

        I don't have decades to wait for single payer.  Many of us are right on the cusp of being the first to be subjected to the new age, and unlike you, we won't have years and years to save for these extra premiums.  

        So what?  Is that really your attitude?

        you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

        by Dem Beans on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:56:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  relax, that's 15 years away (0+ / 0-)

          stop and think about what has changed in the last 15 years and extrapolate that trend 15 years in the future  and then tell me that you have a rational reason to worry

          you don't.  

          i am the biggest worrier you will ever meet and i have absolute confidence that you'll be fine when you reach 65.

          •  cool, and if not (0+ / 0-)

            would you personally cover us financially given your absolute confidence level???

            I think the concern Dem Beans has is quite rational an shared by a lot of others.

            mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

            by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:11:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  really? (0+ / 0-)

        Durbin said yesterday that the two year gap could be financially devastating to seniors who have health issues.

        little cavalier with the "so what" attitude, don't think you'd have the same opinion if you were in this position.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:08:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  how bullshit becomes fact (0+ / 0-)

      "Obama personally killed the public option"

      http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/...

      just one man's opinion?

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:25:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrat's need to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, blukat, divineorder

    stimulate the economy and educate those who didn't vote for the President if we want to re-take the house in 2014. Keeping the Medicare age the way it is will stimulate the economy not piss off those boomers who are retiring and are counting on the 'guvmint' keeping their mitts off their Medicare.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:28:55 PM PST

  •  There's money to be saved in Medicare (15+ / 0-)

    by allowing the government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices (like the VA already does).

    I'm not convinced that raising the age would save any $ - other than making people die sooner.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:45:47 PM PST

    •  And Clog Up the Workforce & Promotion Ladder Long- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swampyankee, Zinman

      er.

      Best thing millennials could do for their careers is help retire my fellow boomers out of the work force. Full disclosure, I'm self employed so I'm not part of that problem.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:12:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually it would add to the financial problem... (0+ / 0-)

      eom

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:18:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That really doesn't sound like a No from Durbin (9+ / 0-)

    on raising eligibilty age. He seems to be saying that exchanges should be set up first before tackling that.

    •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

      He also states that there shouldn't be a gap between Social Security retirement age and Medicare retirement age - that is, when you retire (to collect social security), you should have Medicare.

      Guess what's already scheduled to raise from 65 to 67?  Social Security!  Guess what Durbin would be fine with in his example - raising Medicare eligibility to 67!

    •  Yes, but at least that staves off the idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, divineorder

      until 2014 at the earliest.

      It's not the first time it's been implied that Obamacare will make Medicare obsolete, which is a notion that needs to be trampled upon and destroyed with extreme prejudice. However, for the moment, what I'm most worried about is the fiscal bluff.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:38:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've read elsewhere that there is (0+ / 0-)

      a consideration to raise eligibility startin in 10 years or even 20 years.  Not only is this really bad policy, I'm not sure how that would synch with Durbin's point:

      “To think that a person would retire at the age of 64 or 65 and not have Medicare coverage until 67 raises the obvious question: These people in their mid-60s, probably with a health history, will find it difficult to buy health insurance on the open market or afford whatever is available,” Durbin said. “I want to make sure there are no gaps in coverage for those who need it the most: retired Americans who have a health history and can’t find affordable health insurance. So … let us make certain that there are insurance exchanges, good competition, and affordable health care available for those seniors.”

      Take Back Our Country? We Built That? HaHaHa! Barack Obama: 332; Mitt Romney: 206. HaHaHa!

      by ChiTownDenny on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:54:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. Brian Beutler's TPM article, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      article, quoted in the diary, quotes Durbin saying that social-service cuts "are something we should think long and hard about," or words to that effect, which is an ambiguous statement.  It's unclear whether he thinks we should do that because they're a good idea, or because they're a bad idea.  The rest of the quote suggests that he says that because he thinks they're a bad idea, but that's only sort of implied.  Personally, I'd feel a lot more comfortable if he'd state outright that dismissing them is a goddam no-brainer.  

      A poster in a diary downstream from this one says he or she saw Durbin on a talk show recently declaring that everything, absolutely everything, should be on the table.  This does not sound like a person who's "taking a hard line" on excluding them.  

      Beutler's piece also states that that great progressive Pete Conrad agrees with Durbin, then cites a quote from Conrad that shows pretty plainly that he thinks the cuts should remain on the table.  

      We all want these guys to fall in line on this issue.  And honestly, no one is more eager than I to think that they will.  But I don't want to live in a world of wishful thinking, and I don't share the diarist's optimism.  Neither the President nor most of the Congressional Democrats has a clean record on this issue, and frankly, I don't trust them.  

      •  saw durbin last night (0+ / 0-)

        on a harball segment and he specifically stated that a gap would be financially devastating for seniors who had health issues..........

        70% of those polled in this week's WAPO/ABC poll said "no" to raising the eligibility age on medicare.

        like everything else.....there are those in the bubble that live in their own world and no nothing of what the rest of America wants and the media is complicit.

        O us doing the right thing taking it to the people and it's up to all of us to ratchet up the pressure.

        there are lots of scare tactics and as long as reform does not impact earned benefits, nothing wrong with reform. people here "cuts" and I don't blame people for being skeptical. we just need to remain vigilant. when the only info that comes out is based on leaks, it's people playing games to reinforce a position.

        reminds me of the great Who song "we won't be fooled again"

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:29:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No means testing either (13+ / 0-)

    The notion of means testing Medicare is an example of Norquist logic at its best. We already have a system for means testing entitlements - we call it the IRS. By implementing higher taxes on the wealthy we ensure the pay a higher portion of the cost of their Medicare benefits. Currently to establish eligibility for Medicare, a potential recipient only needs to establish age and eligibility by virtue of citizenship or other criterion.

    Medicare has no facility for reviewing income. In order to establish a means test, we would need an entirely new bureaucracy with the sole purpose of determining eligibility and assessing the appropriate fees (if that is the purpose). The need to establish income eligibility would fall on everyone, not just the wealthy. The reward for such a system would be that the wealthy who already abandon the system  would be screened out at enormous expense and inconvenience to everyone else, with no net savings for Medicare, an increase in overall healthcare costs, more incentives to divide healthcare into two disparate systems, and a loss of overall ability to control and coordinate health care costs.

    The only "logic" supporting means testing is the Republican orthodoxy that taxes are bad and government programs are bad, so we are better off with an expensive and unpopular system of collecting fees from a few wealthy individuals, than a cheap and efficient system of taxing those same individuals.

    Another reason to make the Republicans make the proposal and then defend it and own it.

    The idea that Republicans will just hold their breath until will all turn blue unless the Democrats agree to incorporate some politically and practically disastrous poison pill to accompany a tax cut that everyone supports is just insane.

  •  But, but, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRobDC

    President Obama has said that he is willing to look at entitlement reform which can't possibly mean anything like fixing inefficiencies without altering the benefits, NO it HAS to mean that he wants to decimate the benefits because he's been a secret conservative republican all along derpa derp derpity derp derp!  To see it otherwise without reading into it things that just aren't there takes willful ignorance!  Willful I tell you!

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:10:35 PM PST

    •  I've said this several times here on Kos (0+ / 0-)

      Treating Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as some sort of sacrosanct gift from the gods that can never be touched is not the way to preserve their benefits for future generations. In the 30s, did FDR and the Democrats foresee the mass of baby boomers simultaneously hitting retirement age and the demise of employer based pensions? Doubtful. But there are some that would say we should never do anything to change social security just because. They have it in their heads that the only way to change social security is to privatize it or cut benefits. And that's simply not true.

      •  social security... (0+ / 0-)

        is solvent until 2034 and then benefit payouts drop to 80% so think social security does not need to be part of the discussion in the next couple of weeks.

        medicare due to Obamacare is OK until 2024. the issue with medicare is health care costs although rate of increase in costs in 2012 is far less than it has been in recent history.

        continued healthcare reform has to be pushed including single payer. as long as health insurance is driven by for profit companies, costs will remain an issue.

        want to be serious about medicare reform, need to attach the source of the issue.

        both CA and VT have single payer initiatives in their legislatures and if even one of them moves forward, it would jump start the country.

        O including a non-profit option for health exchanges was a good move and may get us to single payer through the back door.

        addressing health care and lower costs in a serious way should be done 1st before thinking about any earned benefit cuts to individuals.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:40:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Only 30% of the population supports... (3+ / 0-)

    ...raising the Medicare age, if I recall, so it's hardly a difficult stand.

  •  Enough with the cheerleading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlochow

    We know that the GOP are arseholes - that is a given but we need to let our team know that we are watching them really closely and omissions in statements (Durbin) and backtracking will not only be noted but will have electoral consequences. Patting the Dems on the head for being good little politicians serves no purpose whatsoever. They need to fear us.

  •  So when can we extend eligibility to 55? (15+ / 0-)

    There are plenty of us in the 55-64 range with the same issue -- no job that offers insurance, a health history, and a private market that age-rates the policies so it costs us way too much. My understanding is that even in the exchanges, they can't rate on gender but can on age, and I assume they will take full advantage of that.

    I have given up trying to find affordable insurance -- hoping to stay healthy for the next 13 months, waiting to see what the exchanges offer, otherwise will pay the modest penalty and wait another year for Medicare. I have many many friends in the same boat.

    •  put medicare on the exchanges (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayrose, Gooserock, rantsposition, rlochow

      and medicaid for that matter.

      No age limits or anything like that.

      It wouldn't be a long or complicated bill.

      •  Hmmm sounds like .. THE PUBLIC OPTION! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlochow, Zinman

        Yes that was the whole point of the public option.  Maybe we'll figure out that it really is needed.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:49:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Think How Many Would Quit Jobs & Self Employ (4+ / 0-)

      not just retire, given the ability to get Medicare.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:15:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Think how much it would bring costs down (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlochow, Zinman

        having younger, less infirmed patients buying into it. If you seriously are concerned about cost you would naturally lower the requirement age, not raise it. I've always felt that this should have been part of the ACA. Rather than mandating the purchase on the open market people should just be able to join the Medicare pool to the advantage of everyone...except the ghouls in the privatized healthcare industry of course. Although in retrospect Justice Roberts most likely would have found the mandate unconstitutional if it didn't bring profit to the private sector.

    •  rugbymom Dem economist James K Galbraith (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow, wewantthetruth

      argues for lowering the retirement age to help the economy!

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:49:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  read this before (0+ / 0-)

        helps reduce the unemployment rate was the basis of the argument as 10 million jobs would need to be filled which means more demand.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:42:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rates cannot vary based on age by more than x3 (0+ / 0-)

      In the exchanges, health plans can charge different premiums based on age, but the premiums for the oldest people cannot be more than 3 times as high as premiums for young people. The likely result will be to squeeze premiums at both ends--younger people will have higher premiums than now, and older people (under 65) will have lower premiums.

      If the data isn't interesting, then you've got the wrong data. --Edward Tufte

      by timiti on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to mention all the people in their 50's (10+ / 0-)

    who were laid off in the Great Recession and are still either completely unemployed or underemployed, and waiting on Medicare age to have health care.

    When will the people in DC finally acknowledge that there are millions of us already in dire straits when it comes to health care, and Medicare is our last resort? And those who live in states with governors rejecting the Medicaid expansion will get no relief from ACA unless they are wealthy enough to buy their own policy.

    Comfortable people in cushy, white-collar jobs need to stop trying to make rules for people whose working lives bear no resemblance to theirs. First off: kill that stupid meme that people are living longer and so need to work longer. We aren't -- not in equal numbers -- and there aren't enough jobs NOW to put everyone to work. Let us retire with dignity. Lower the retirement age to 60 -- for Social Security AND Medicare, and it will open up jobs at at the same time for our unemployed younger citizens who need jobs so they can start their lives.

    PS: Have any of them looked at the exact opposite issue of those of us already pushed to 66 or 67 for Social Security benefits to begin who won't be able to afford Medicare premiums at 65 because we have no income? How about it, geniuses in Washington? It's six of one, half a dozen of another.

    Short-sighted dimwits are in charge of our lives.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:23:08 PM PST

    •  This is a very good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow

      There are still a lot of people in their late 40's and up who lost their jobs because of what happened a few years ago. Most have worked all their lives until that happened. Now they are looking at having paid into something they may not get anything out of.

      We need something to balance it all out. Not raise the limit and fail to do anything for employment. It only hurts more people who are already paying for what certain people in positions of power did.

    •  Turn that comment into a very timely diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow

      please.

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:51:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a reminder that elections have consequenes (0+ / 0-)

      and those people who live in states where their governors have shunned Obamacare have only themselves to blame for it. they voted (or in a lot of cases, they did not vote) and they got the legislatures and governors they got.

      people have historically voted against their own financial interests but they can still do something about it.

      I do feel for those who live in those states who voted but lost out but that should be motivation to get involved and help make changes.

      sure, neither side in congress functions well however it is 30 years of republican policies that have brought this country to the brink of disaster and it's way past time for people to wake up.

      over a 50 year period, democratic administrations have created 20 million more jobs than republican administrations.

      I am a 58 year-old white male and I am thrilled to see the demographic changes as it brings me hope that my two twenty something daughters have hope for a brighter future.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:52:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Durbin is still thinking about doing it long-term. (7+ / 0-)

    The TPM story makes that clear.

    During his floor speech, Durbin staked out the position that Congress shouldn’t seriously consider raising Medicare eligibility until its clear that the Affordable Care Act is operating well, so that seniors between 65 and 67 can fall back into a different (though less generous) public system.

    “To think that a person would retire at the age of 64 or 65 and not have Medicare coverage until 67 raises the obvious question: These people in their mid-60s, probably with a health history, will find it difficult to buy health insurance on the open market or afford whatever is available,” Durbin said. “I want to make sure there are no gaps in coverage for those who need it the most: retired Americans who have a health history and can’t find affordable health insurance. So … let us make certain that there are insurance exchanges, good competition, and affordable health care available for those seniors.”

    Soon the boomers who had their Social Security eligibility age raised to 67 will be nearing retirement, which is everyone born after 1960. Then the argument will be: raise the Medicare age to match it.  I think his plan is to raise the age over 20 years, which is what Obama wanted to do last year.  When the people who will lose coverage are retirement age, Durbin et al will be long-gone, or, like Alan Simpson, hanging around ranting about greedy geezers.

    As the story notes, these are not cost savings that result.  It is cost-shifting onto seniors.  Conrad's idea that the ACA is an equivalent safety net is BS. Under the ACA you still have to buy expensive and inadequate private insurance, and if you are living off of $1200 in Social Security benefits you will not be able to afford it.  The only bright spot is, I am assuming the health care system will have collapsed under its own weight well before then and we will have Medicare for all because no one will be able to afford what we have, in Medicare or outside it.

    •  It Won't Collapse, It'll Go Either Mainly Catas- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2laneIA, divineorder

      trophic with high deductables, or else like dental insurance, it'll be mainly wellness care and you have to sell your car to fix 3 teeth in the same year.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:17:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Better healthcare system solves this problem (4+ / 0-)

    Medicare for all. Let healthy people buy into the system. Let (hell, force) Medicare/caid bargain for better rates on care and drugs.

    Every other country worth a damn has better and cheaper care. Only the Confederates thing a public healthcare system is socialism, and the TVA isn't.

    There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? - Robert Kennedy

    by BobBlueMass on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:08:46 PM PST

    •  single-payer (0+ / 0-)

      AHA calls for exchanges to include a non-profit option...that is the future.

      CA and VT both have single-payer initiatives in their legislatures. One of them needs to go forward and become law and become the model for the rest of the country.

      given the population in CA, the insurers have to see the handwriting on the wall which is why they milk the insured now......CA goes single payer, things would change more quickly.

      maybe with a supermajority for Dens in CA something can get done.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 06:55:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They'd better. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blukat, Brooke In Seattle

    Who's going to hire all these plus-65-year-olds and give them jobs with benefits anyway?

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:35:00 PM PST

  •  I'm all for raising the enrollment age for gen x (0+ / 0-)

    By the time I retire in 30 years we will have single payer, so, who gives a shit if we raise the age right now?  

    I say that we get everything we can out of raising the age of enrollment!!  No reason to get something else we really want in exchange for something we don't need.

    •  correction: no reason to NOT get something (0+ / 0-)

      sometimes you just gotta zoom out and take a look at the forest instead of getting stuck fighting over a tree

    •  Well there are people other than us. nt (4+ / 0-)
    •  Electoral suicide. Just when basic demographic... (0+ / 0-)

      facts are shifting in our direction, you propose chipping away at a core Democratic promise. If the Party accomplishes this by promising, out loud, that it will socialize the health care system before the change matters, it will scare off its beloved 'moderates' and push Team Red away from the apparently all-important bargaining table. If it simply assumes young people will make the same calculation you have, it faces the gigantic danger that nobody will get a message that isn't even being sent.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:44:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't think anyone but activists care (0+ / 0-)

        nobody younger than 45 worries about whether they will get medicare when they turn 65 or 67

        now, if they raised if for 55 year olds THEN I would agree that it's electoral suicide

  •  Press down on the vise Obama. No let up. None. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wewantthetruth

    This is your moment......

    •  from the time he first thought (0+ / 0-)

      of running, O knew he wanted to have a historical impact on the presidency and the country and he knew he needed two terms to do so.

      I think this is O's time, in fact, I am confident of it. He has already done something that not other presidents in the last 50 years have been able to do. Is AHA perfect, no, but he knew it was a start and as it became fully implemented, people would see the benefits and over the years, AHA would take its place along Social Security as a monumental achievement.

      O is both a compassionate and sincere man, I can sense the impact on him when he sits and reads those letters from average Americans before he goes to bed at night and he has an extraordinary wife by his side.

      I was heartened when O's dander was raised during the town hall debate when mittens falsely accused him on benghazi and I saw it again when he defended susan rice.

      O had to govern the way he did in his first term given what he walked in to and the people he had to work with. was he initially naive....maybe but he continues to maze me the way he works.....it's the long game, not the short one.

      People need to continue to speak up........I know O hears us.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:04:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't think of almost anything that would be (0+ / 0-)

    more despicable than making life even harder for our elderly. One has to be a cold soulless person to keep wanting to stick it to them just to get votes.

    •  just to get campaign contributions (0+ / 0-)

      and lobbying jobs when they retire.

      look at mittens......do you think he gave a shit about anyone but him and his own? there ar a lot like him in congress...cold, unemotional, out for themselves.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any Democrat voting for cuts will lose next time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Nancy on Lake Michigan

    That's the reality. 2014 is coming up. That's a base year turn out.

     If you want to see a repeat of 2010, cut entitlements.

    •  no cuts to earned benefits (0+ / 0-)

      if there are other reforms that extend solvency on medicare but don't impact the insured, I would be in favor of them.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:08:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ideal offer Obama should make to the DWOO (0+ / 0-)

    "DWOO" stands for "Drunk Weepy Oompa-Loompa," by the way.

    "My offer is this. Nothing. Nothing except the tax hikes for the top 2%, which I would appreciate if you would support in public."

  •  "Fiscal Artifice" © Joan McCarter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock
    Brilliant.
     It's like the smile I get when I hear Tea Partier's referred to as "American Taliban" © Kos

    "The Internet is the Public Square of the 21st Century"- Sen. Al Franken

    by Kdoug on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:39:19 PM PST

  •  What about raising the eligibility age for Viagra? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim R, Gooserock

    That ought to scare the shit out of lots of conservative misogynists Repubs.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:42:43 PM PST

  •  The big looming question is still: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruh1, rlochow

    Is Obama willing to let the talks fail?

    If he's not truly prepared to step off the fiscal cliff curb, his leverage is not as great as advertised.

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:47:06 PM PST

  •  Signed Bernie's Petition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayrose, divineorder

    Keep the heat on the WH and the Congress not to raise retirement age to 67.  It will mean working longer with less jobs for those younger looking for jobs.  This is also a jobs issue too.  
    Keep signing petitions while pressuring organizations like AARP that is continuining to  run adds daily to preserve and protect Medicare / social securityfor future generations.  We need to be in campaign mode.

    The Dems would be history if they agree to cuts to social security, medicare and Medicaid.  Trim defense by ending the wars bringing our troops home,  cut homeland security and allow the Medicare drug program to negeotiate fairer and cheaper drug prices for everyone. We are charged way to much for drugs that Canada gets for much less. That's a huge start on the real reasons the deficit ballooned in the first place.

    And please stop giving tax cuts and other goodies to rich people.  They don't deserve them and act arrogant and entitled when we as a nation do.  It just created a dependency problem we can't afford anymore and going cold turkey is the solution. Th 47% comment by Romney and his last partin words that Obama won because we all just want free stuff is just plain disgusting.

  •  Just set up a single-payer system, damn it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sreeizzle2012

    Although I am relieved to see Democrats standing firm...so far.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:55:40 PM PST

  •  He wants the Republincans on record first. It puts (4+ / 0-)

    them in a very bad bargaining position. Their greed and lack of compassion will be on view for public consumption.

    Visit my Etsy Shop - Kos Katalogue Member http://www.etsy.com/shop/stringsnsuch

    by mayrose on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:55:56 PM PST

  •  It would raise the cost of Medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, emidesu

    A personal story is typical of many: A relative found out he had prostate cancer and delayed his treatment for almost a year, until Medicare eligible. Cost went up by a factor of 10!

    This would be multiplied a million-fold. One very sure way to reduce the rate of Medicare cost increase is to allow folks to buy into Medicare at an EARLIER age. (not free, but reasonable.) Early care = less cost.

  •  Did Democrats like 2010? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    When Republicans scared the bejeebus out of seniors and ran as the "saviors" of Medicare?

    There's no doubt they intend to give some revenue around the margins in return for the ability to demagogue Democrat's cutting grandmas' Medicare and S.S.

    Known on the right as a win-win. Keep most of the ineffective, irresponsible Bush tax cuts that led to the worst job growth in history, while gaining an issue to attack with.

    Bonus points, they've always hated both programs but loved parading themselves around as defending them.

    Don't fall for it, Dems.

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:09:47 PM PST

  •  I think the eligibility age should be lowered... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emidesu

    to 55. Someone who works in an office maybe able to wait until 65 but someone who has worked in a physical trade all of their life maybe might need medicare at 55. Medicare possibly should be means tested. I'm kind of conflicted about this. If you pay into it, you should be able get the benefits if you qualify.
    But eventually we will have to go to single payer for everyone. That will be the only way we are going to be able to control costs  

    Clinton/ Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:29:21 PM PST

    •  Right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emidesu

      Howard Dean had this idea back in 2004.  It made sense then and still does.  Medicare is the best tool we have to lower health care costs and we should use it.  Any idea that Democrats would agree to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare should be shouted down without mercy.

    •  I like that approach (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emidesu

      We can keep lowering the medicare age every 5 years and then reach a truly single payer system.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:45:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  slight correction for Senator Durbin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wewantthetruth

    First off, I am happy that he says raising medicare retirement age is not on the table.  That most likely means the President isn't considering it either.

    One slight correction to the Senator's scenario.  We now know that it's very common for people to take social security at 62.  The reasons are numerous.  A weak employment environment with age prejudice is the main reason.  So imagine what a hardship would be created to make someone get their own insurance for perhaps as much as 5 years.  That could wipe out a fair amount of their savings.

    If anything we should be considering a way to let younger people buy into Medicare.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:44:41 PM PST

    •  Raise the age? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wewantthetruth

      How many of you are or know a laborer in the trades?  An uncle was in construction and built homes from the foundation to the roof.  I remember his bent fingers and swollen knuckles and how he walked with a limp.  At 58 he joked how he looked 15-20 years older than he was.  He died at 61 never able to take advantage of the Social Security or Medicare safety net.  Death was listed as natural causes.  There was nothing "natural" about it, his body was just worn out.  Raise the age?  You have got to be kidding.

      •  hate the cavalier attitude some have (0+ / 0-)

        one post above actually stated "so what".

        I am sorry for your loss. I bet he was a good man. I am also thankful for your real-life reminder of how poor an idea it is to consider raising the age.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:13:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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