The Medicare Eligibility Age Debate Rages On

Despite concerns about those who will lose Medicare coverage if the eligibility age is raised, Forbes suggests that any reduction to Medicare is a good thing because “Medicare is a driver of exploding health costs, not the solution to them.”

Medicare is a program shirking financial responsibility, says Forbes, and “because Medicare’s co-pays and deductibles are so low, seniors have no incentive to avoid wasteful or excessive treatment.” Forbes puts more blame for America’s fiscal woes on Medicare, arguing that it “artificially underpays hospitals to care for Medicare patients, which leads hospitals to charge private insurers more, a phenomenon known as cost-shifting.”

Not everyone, however, agrees that raising the age of Medicare eligibility would be good for Americans 65, 66, or older or good for the Medicare program or the country itself.

Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, in opposing Butler’s position on the AARP website, argues that raising the Medicare eligibility age even to 67 “would be unwise at this time.” Aaron does not simply suggest that an age increase would place undue burden on some older Americans. He goes further by arguing that “it would save the federal government little money” and “would raise total health care spending.” He also indicates “it would impose new costs on businesses and state governments.”

Others who oppose raising the Medicare age, while acknowledging that raising the age would result in billions of dollars in savings through money no longer invested in the Medicare system, argue that any money saved would not offset new costs that would pop up elsewhere. It is often argued that those new costs would far exceed the amount of money saved by reducing the length of time seniors are on Medicare.

One thought on “The Medicare Eligibility Age Debate Rages On

  1. How much will be saved of congress gives up their free benefits or at least pay for half like the people have to do.

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