KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Business Roundtable Offers Medicare Plan To Increase Eligibility Age To 70

The Associated Press reports that, under this plan, "people 55 and older would be protected from cuts but younger workers would face significant changes." Meanwhile, CNN Money takes a look at the cost of such a move.

The Associated Press: Business Group Of CEOs Calls For Raising Retirement Age
An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans. ... Medicare recipients would be able to enroll in the traditional program or in private plans that could adjust premiums based on age and health status. ... [Gary] Loveman, who chairs the Business Roundtable's health and retirement committee, said the business leaders will be meeting with members of Congress and the administration to press them to enact their plan (Ohlemacher, 1/16).

CNN Money: The High Cost Of Raising The Medicare Age
If seniors were not allowed to enroll in Medicare until 67 starting next year, federal spending would drop by $5.7 billion in 2014, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But Americans enrolled both in private health insurance plans and Medicare, as well as employers and states, would see expenses jump by $11.4 billion. "Raising the age doesn't address the larger concern of reducing health care spending overall," said Juliette Cubanski, associate director of Kaiser's Program on Medicare Policy. "It just shifts costs from the federal government to other payers in the system." Medicare reform is back in the spotlight as the White House and Congress gear up for another deficit reduction battle in coming weeks (Luhby, 1/17).

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