Proposals To Raise Medicare Age Could Raise Costs Too
NPR reports that raising the Medicare age could shift higher health care costs to others instead of saving money, while some lawmakers send a letter to the super committee opposing changing the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health care.
NPR: Raising Medicare Age Could Lead To Higher Costs
Congress's so-called deficit reduction super committee is down to the final weeks of deliberations in its efforts to come up with $1.2 trillion in budget savings. And one proposal that keeps cropping up is the idea of raising the eligibility age for Medicare. ... Specifically, some costs would shift to employers because they'd have to continue to cover many of those people who'd continue to work. Some costs would also shift to those 65- and 66-year-olds themselves, if they're no longer working. They'd have to pay for their own insurance (Rovner, 11/7).
CQ HealthBeat: House Lawmakers Oppose Taxing Employer-Sponsored Health Care Benefits
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking the joint deficit committee not to tax employer-sponsored health care benefits, a proposal that frequently pops up in deficit reduction talks. Lowering or capping the tax exclusion would reduce health care coverage for Americans and end up increasing long-term federal spending, negating any revenue that would be gained, the lawmakers said in a letter to the committee signed by 160 members. "This is not one of [the things] that either side would agree to in the end," said Tom Cole, R-Okla., who led the effort with Connecticut Democrat Joe Courtney. "There are some ideas that you ought to just rule out and not bother to use," (Ethridge, 11/4).
The Associated Press: US Wealth Gap Between Young And Old Is Widest Ever
The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt. The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday. ... The report, coming out before the Nov. 23 deadline for a special congressional committee to propose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years, casts a spotlight on a government safety net that has buoyed older Americans on Social Security and Medicare amid wider cuts to education and other programs, including cash assistance for poor families (Yen, 11/7).