Raising Medicare's Eligibility Age Would Bring Trade-Offs

The Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press examine the implications of one option being considered in the federal deficit talks and discover some surprising consequences, including higher premiums for those already covered by Medicare.

Los Angeles Times: Q&A: What Would It Mean To Raise Medicare's Eligibility Age?
As they debate ways to control the federal deficit, President Obama and congressional Republicans have both acknowledged the need to rein in federal spending on healthcare programs such as Medicare, which provides health insurance to about 50 million elderly and disabled Americans. Among the leading proposals to slow Medicare spending — a key ingredient of a budget deal — is to raise the eligibility age for the program, an option frequently championed by conservatives. Here are answers to some basic questions about the concept and its potential effects (Levey, 12/7).

The Associated Press: Fiscal Cliff: Trade-Offs In Raising Medicare Eligibility Age
Americans are living longer, and Republicans want to raise the Medicare eligibility age as part of any deal to reduce the government's huge deficits. But what sounds like a prudent sacrifice for an aging society that must watch its budget could have surprising consequences, including higher premiums for people on Medicare (Alonso-Zaldivar, 12/7).

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