Raising Medicare Age Could Leave 165,000 Seniors without Insurance

Thursday, December 13, 2012
(photo: Pat Little, AP)

Many observers in Washington believe a fiscal-cliff compromise between President Barack Obama and Congress could include raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67. Such a change would reduce the number of seniors in the entitlement program and lower Medicare’s budget.


Republicans claim raising the eligibility would not leave seniors without medical coverage, because they could always get Medicaid or coverage through the new insurance exchanges being set up as part of the healthcare reform law (pdf).


But a new report (pdf) from the Center for American Progress disputes this assumption.


It says about 164,000 seniors who lost their Medicare eligibility may not have Obamacare to fall back on if they live in the 10 states whose governors have declared they will opt out of the Medicaid expansion called for by the president’s law.


In addition, the Congressional Budget Office said raising the Medicare eligibility age could cause as many as 270,000 seniors to lose their insurance in 2021.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age Would Harm Seniors and Increase Health Care Spending (by Maura Calsyn and Lindsay Rosenthal, Center for American Progress) (pdf)

No, Don't Raise the Retirement Age (by Jonathan Cohn, New Republic)

Raising Medicare Age Could Leave Hundreds of Thousands Uninsured (by Greg Sargent, Washington Post)

Lower Medicare Age and Help Primary Care Doctors: Marcia Angell (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

30% of Doctors Will Refuse to Treat New Medicaid Patients (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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