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(Huffington Post)   Raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 would save $19 billion over the next decade, which is almost enough to fund one government shutdown   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 134
    More: Interesting, Medicare, Congressional Budget Office, government shutdown, FPL, saves, medicaid coverage  
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894 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Oct 2013 at 6:22 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



134 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-25 05:43:52 PM  
There are other ways to look at this, including lowering the age, but no one wants to think about ANYTHING but savings by limitation.
 
2013-10-25 05:45:59 PM  
 
2013-10-25 06:01:52 PM  
It's true: raising Medicare eligibility alone probably wouldn't do much. But including it in a package of entitlement reforms that included:

* aligning social security and medicare eligibility
* raising social security eligibility to 70, or indexing eligibility to life expectancy
* raising the payroll tax cap from 84% to 90% or even 95% of earnings
* phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees
* indexing COLA adjustments to prices rather than wages for all but the bottom third of beneficiaries
* raising the payroll tax 1%

Would do a lot. There are a slew of studies that have indicated that these reforms would absolutely fix most or all of the problems. The only barrier is that Republicans refuse to even consider tax hikes, and Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all. And so we limp along.
 
2013-10-25 06:05:25 PM  

whistleridge: Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all.


We should be so lucky.
 
2013-10-25 06:28:45 PM  
I read something this week (can't remember where, maybe it was The Week) that said, with a straight face, that we need to cut entitlements so that we can expand "needed" defense spending.  Seriously.

I hope the citizens of this country aren't as detached and flabby and gullible as they've appeared, because we're really need to going to stand up and say "no" when they try to push this crap through again.  They will push "defense" spending to $2 trillion a year, and "family farm" subsidies to $1 trillion a year, and eliminate literally everything else, if we let them.
 
2013-10-25 06:29:58 PM  
I should add that several people/sources have pointed out that, if you add everything up in all of the scattered little corners of the budget, we do, in fact, already spend something close to $2 trillion per year on "security".
 
2013-10-25 06:32:08 PM  

whistleridge: It's true: raising Medicare eligibility alone probably wouldn't do much. But including it in a package of entitlement reforms that included:

* aligning social security and medicare eligibility
* raising social security eligibility to 70, or indexing eligibility to life expectancy
* raising the payroll tax cap from 84% to 90% or even 95% of earnings
* phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees
* indexing COLA adjustments to prices rather than wages for all but the bottom third of beneficiaries
* raising the payroll tax 1%

Would do a lot. There are a slew of studies that have indicated that these reforms would absolutely fix most or all of the problems. The only barrier is that Republicans refuse to even consider tax hikes, and Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all. And so we limp along.


I seem to remember Obama getting hammered for cutting $700b from Medicare last year...

Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform when that is the only budgetary decision to make since the GOP outlaws defense cuts and tax increases.

If the GOP proposed massive defense cuts and a repeal of specific bush tax cuts and cap gains tax raises, they could get huge reforms to Medicare.
 
2013-10-25 06:33:04 PM  

bulldg4life: entitlement reform


hurp
 
2013-10-25 06:33:56 PM  
Thank god we don't have to deal with communist healthcare schemes like Canada - those farkers lose 81.6% of their income to taxes and they still can't serve fries properly.
 
2013-10-25 06:36:37 PM  

Elzar: Thank god we don't have to deal with communist healthcare schemes like Canada - those farkers lose 81.6% of their income to taxes and they still can't serve fries properly.


WTF are you talking about?
 
2013-10-25 06:37:16 PM  
Using something you earned is an entitlement

Only to bootstrappy Republicans
 
2013-10-25 06:38:25 PM  

Peter von Nostrand: Using something you earned is an entitlement

Only toUnless you're a bootstrappy Republicans


Truth.
 
2013-10-25 06:38:34 PM  
Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.
 
2013-10-25 06:39:27 PM  
Raising taxes (total, not rates) by 0.2% would also save that much.
 
2013-10-25 06:39:33 PM  

Kibbler: I read something this week (can't remember where, maybe it was The Week) that said, with a straight face, that we need to cut entitlements so that we can expand "needed" defense spending.  Seriously.

I hope the citizens of this country aren't as detached and flabby and gullible as they've appeared, because we're really need to going to stand up and say "no" when they try to push this crap through again.  They will push "defense" spending to $2 trillion a year, and "family farm" subsidies to $1 trillion a year, and eliminate literally everything else, if we let them.


Hey, that $19 billion could buy us another Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier!
 
2013-10-25 06:39:54 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: whistleridge: Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all.

We should be so lucky.


This. Just like they didn't want to be called "soft on terror" by Fox News so they voted for every idiotic military adventure anyone ever thought of, they also want to be called "serious" so they have to go on cable news and talk about "putting entitlement reform on the table."

And you never hear them say -- even though they must know it -- that cutting Social Security will absolutely not help the deficit in any way.
 
2013-10-25 06:40:01 PM  
Do we really want to keep senior citizens in the workforce longer? How much would such reforms cost in terms of unemployment?
 
2013-10-25 06:40:02 PM  

whistleridge: It's true: raising Medicare eligibility alone probably wouldn't do much. But including it in a package of entitlement reforms that included:

* aligning social security and medicare eligibility
* raising social security eligibility to 70, or indexing eligibility to life expectancy
* raising the payroll tax cap from 84% to 90% or even 95% of earnings
* phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees
* indexing COLA adjustments to prices rather than wages for all but the bottom third of beneficiaries
* raising the payroll tax 1%

Would do a lot. There are a slew of studies that have indicated that these reforms would absolutely fix most or all of the problems. The only barrier is that Republicans refuse to even consider tax hikes, and Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all. And so we limp along.


What if we just raise the cap on income subject to FICA withholding? It's currently at $113,700 - suppose we raised it to, say, $150K or even $175K?
 
2013-10-25 06:40:38 PM  

Peter von Nostrand: Using something you earned is an entitlement

Only to bootstrappy Republicans


Using something you earned *is* an entitlement.  You're entitled to it -- it's your by right.

"Sense of entitlement" is a pejorative term, because it implies that the person thinks they're entitled to something they're not.  But merely being entitled to something is not negative.

Anyway, I'm sick of the idea that the most important thing in the world is upfront savings, with nothing else ever being worthy of consideration.
 
2013-10-25 06:42:16 PM  

AntiNerd: This. Just like they didn't want to be called "soft on terror" by Fox News so they voted for every idiotic military adventure anyone ever thought of, they also want to be called "serious" so they have to go on cable news and talk about "putting entitlement reform on the table."

And you never hear them say -- even though they must know it -- that cutting Social Security will absolutely not help the deficit in any way.


Yes, and it's absolutely maddening. If only they'd just WON AN ELECTION.
 
2013-10-25 06:42:41 PM  

mediablitz: There are other ways to look at this, including lowering the age, but no one wants to think about ANYTHING but savings by limitation.


Lower retirement age to 55 for a period of ten years. Let some older people retire (both of my parents would take it in a heartbeat), and create some upward mobility in the job market.
 
2013-10-25 06:43:31 PM  
How much would lowering it to 50 save private insurers who are now mandated to cover everything?
 
2013-10-25 06:43:53 PM  
We can save even more by mandating end of life terms in writing. No punishment for choosing one option over the other, and one should be free (both in opportunity and cost) to change status as frequently as one desires. But if you want Medicare money, you have to put in writing what should happen if you can't make decisions for yourself anymore.

Also, an opt-out policy of organ donation at the DMV rather than an opt-in. Those who believe in the physical resurrection of the flesh don't have to do anything, but everyone else will be parted out like old Camaros.
 
2013-10-25 06:44:12 PM  

RealityChuck: Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.


Exactly.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/raising-the-medicare-age -r evisited/?_r=0

"Many of us pointed out that raising the Medicare age would actually raise the cost of health care, that any apparent savings to the Federal government would result simply from shifting costs onto others - and because Medicare has lower costs than private insurance, this would result in a net loss. "
 
2013-10-25 06:46:06 PM  

bulldg4life: If the GOP proposed massive defense cuts and a repeal of specific bush tax cuts and cap gains tax raises, they could get huge reforms to Medicare.


True. And if Bill Clinton could run for President in 2016, he would be elected in the biggest landslide in living memory.
 
2013-10-25 06:46:30 PM  

RealityChuck: Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.


FFS, THIS.

It's like nobody knows a goddamn thing about risk pools.
 
2013-10-25 06:54:51 PM  

RealityChuck: Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.


Yes and no. 

Expanding the risk pool = a good idea. Tweaking the eligibility of the program = adjusting administrative costs.

Before you lace into me, here's what I mean.If ACA covers everyone, then Medicare should basically become a special seniors only tier of that structure. Under that setup, raising the age wouldn't make a difference because the risk pools wouldn't change, only the program sizes.

If ACA  doesn'tcover everyone, then yes, it makes absolute sense to lower the age to expand the risk pool. In fact, it would make the most sense to lower it right down to zero, and achieve single-payer by default. Stopping anywhere short would just be wasting money.
 
2013-10-25 06:56:29 PM  
And then they would be subsidized under ACA!

Sorry raising the medicare age now wouldn't help much at all. It would be dumb to do.
 
2013-10-25 06:58:24 PM  
Yeah if anything we should LOWER it and pull off the least healthiest (in general) people off the current insurance pools. This would mean lower costs for everyone. (yes though more would need to be paid in taxes)
 
2013-10-25 06:58:46 PM  

whistleridge: phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees


So what would happen? You'd pay into Social Security during your working life then get nothing back? Pretty much just another 7% payroll tax? And given that there's no insurance for seniors other than Medicare, how would that work? They'd just be out of pocket for 100% of costs?
 
2013-10-25 07:00:14 PM  

wraith95: Do we really want to keep senior citizens in the workforce longer? How much would such reforms cost in terms of unemployment?


This is very true too. Many people work only for health care. So supping older people with healthcare is a big factor in helping them retire and open up jobs for others.
 
2013-10-25 07:05:31 PM  
LOWER IT  !!!
 
2013-10-25 07:08:34 PM  

whistleridge: RealityChuck: Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.

Yes and no. 

Expanding the risk pool = a good idea. Tweaking the eligibility of the program = adjusting administrative costs.

Before you lace into me, here's what I mean.If ACA covers everyone, then Medicare should basically become a special seniors only tier of that structure. Under that setup, raising the age wouldn't make a difference because the risk pools wouldn't change, only the program sizes.

If ACA  doesn'tcover everyone, then yes, it makes absolute sense to lower the age to expand the risk pool. In fact, it would make the most sense to lower it right down to zero, and achieve single-payer by default. Stopping anywhere short would just be wasting money.


The problem with your thinking is that ACA and Medicare aren't even remotely the same thing.  ACA is an insurance exchange where the insurance is ultimately provided by private companies, while Medicare is, itself, a government-run insurer.

I do agree with removing the age requirement, however.
 
2013-10-25 07:10:09 PM  

whistleridge: It's true: raising Medicare eligibility alone probably wouldn't do much. But including it in a package of entitlement reforms that included:

* aligning social security and medicare eligibility
* raising social security eligibility to 70, or indexing eligibility to life expectancy
* raising the payroll tax cap from 84% to 90% or even 95% of earnings
* phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees
* indexing COLA adjustments to prices rather than wages for all but the bottom third of beneficiaries
* raising the payroll tax 1%

Would do a lot. There are a slew of studies that have indicated that these reforms would absolutely fix most or all of the problems. The only barrier is that Republicans refuse to even consider tax hikes, and Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all. And so we limp along.


The one thing I ran the strike-through though is the only thing I disagree with, raising the eligibility age to 70 is NOT an answer, mainly because NO employer is going to keep someone employed past 65 years of age unless they are required to BY LAW. Hell, getting an employer to keep ANYONE past the age of 60 is a miracle in and of itself! And while we are at it, get the Government to stop adding the FICA tax revenue to the general fund! That, in and of itself, would do a great deal to solving the approaching insolvency of the Social Security Trust Fund.
 
2013-10-25 07:14:13 PM  

flucto: And given that there's no insurance for seniors other than Medicare, how would that work? They'd just be out of pocket for 100% of costs?


That's not necessarily a given, but, if you think people are wailing about the cost of insurance now, just imagine what would happen if they had to be in the same risk pool as a 95 year old man who means-tested out of Medicare. That would kill the exchanges so fast that we'd tear a whole in space time and find ourselves in a dimension where Alex Jones is president.
 
2013-10-25 07:18:26 PM  

ClavellBCMI: The one thing I ran the strike-through though is the only thing I disagree with, raising the eligibility age to 70 is NOT an answer, mainly because NO employer is going to keep someone employed past 65 years of age unless they are required to BY LAW. Hell, getting an employer to keep ANYONE past the age of 60 is a miracle in and of itself! And while we are at it, get the Government to stop adding the FICA tax revenue to the general fund! That, in and of itself, would do a great deal to solving the approaching insolvency of the Social Security Trust Fund.


Those weren't really my personal suggestions, they were a sampling of the many many suggestions out there floating around. I tried to put up a good mix of ideas from both sides of the aisle, not just those I might prefer.
 
2013-10-25 07:19:02 PM  
Dying of preventable disease and abject poverty is a right, not a privilege!
 
2013-10-25 07:19:41 PM  

RealityChuck: Raising the age won't do much because you remove the healthiest people from the system.  Lowering the age OTOH, would add more healthy people to the system, thus driving down costs.


So we'd spend less per person, but make it up on volume?

You sound bad enough at math to be a member of Congress.
 
2013-10-25 07:20:32 PM  

BMFPitt: So we'd spend less per person, but make it up on volume?


yes that is how pooling risk works very good

you are a good boy
 
2013-10-25 07:22:37 PM  
Eliminate the payroll cap. Problem solved. You're welcome.
 
2013-10-25 07:25:15 PM  
Yeah, let's raise the age to 70! The problem with today's society is all of those lazy 65-70 year olds retiring too early. With them it's always, "Oh, I have cancer and I can't always remember where I am", "I have to suck down a bottle of OxyContin just so my back pain doesn't make me kill myself", or "I've paid into Medicare for 50 years, I'd like to see a doctor, please". Suck it up, pussies. Stop mooching off of government freebies.

Don't even get me started on those upstart 45-50 year olds shooting for a promotion. You will wait for your boss to die at his desk and you will farking like it.
 
2013-10-25 07:25:54 PM  
FTA: "Raising the retirement age is a proposal embraced by budget hawks, particularly Republicans seeking to lower the program's unsustainable growth."

UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH?!  What the flying fark, HuffPo???

Welcome to the modern media, where this shiat STILL gets thrown about like it's true just because some old-ass beltway know-nothings keep spewing the talking point all day.
 
2013-10-25 07:26:57 PM  
I think we are done here. Pretty much we all pointed out why this is would be dumb.

*thread closed*
 
2013-10-25 07:30:15 PM  

Target Builder: Eliminate the payroll cap. Problem solved. You're welcome.


Also Cap Gains should not be exempt from Soc Sec and Medicare.
 
2013-10-25 07:32:27 PM  
Raising it to infinity would save even more.

Clearly the conclusion is to raise it enough so that nobody is eligible.

/Except then the dumbocrats would have to get jobs instead of live off Uncle Sucker.
 
2013-10-25 07:33:59 PM  

whistleridge: It's true: raising Medicare eligibility alone probably wouldn't do much. But including it in a package of entitlement reforms that included:

* aligning social security and medicare eligibility
* raising social security eligibility to 70, or indexing eligibility to life expectancy
* raising the payroll tax cap from 84% to 90% or even 95% of earnings
* phasing out social security and medicare benefits for high income retirees
* indexing COLA adjustments to prices rather than wages for all but the bottom third of beneficiaries
* raising the payroll tax 1%

Would do a lot. There are a slew of studies that have indicated that these reforms would absolutely fix most or all of the problems. The only barrier is that Republicans refuse to even consider tax hikes, and Democrats refuse to consider entitlement reform at all. And so we limp along.


So tax people more and make it harder for them to draw benefits.  Eventually the payroll tax will be 35% of your income and if you're lucky enough to live past 85, you get a free apartment and a meals-on-wheels delivery
 
2013-10-25 07:39:49 PM  

sprawl15: yes that is how pooling risk works


Pooling risk works by spreading risk out among many people/entities.  In Medicare, there is a single entity taking on all the risk.

This would be like saying you could save money on your car insurance by adding some infrequent drivers to your policy, but then paying the difference yourself.
 
2013-10-25 07:41:11 PM  

o5iiawah: So tax people more and make it harder for them to draw benefits.  Eventually the payroll tax will be 35% of your income and if you're lucky enough to live past 85, you get a free apartment and a meals-on-wheels delivery


Annnnd YOUR fallacy is...*spins wheel*...THE SLIPPERY SLOPE!

Congratulations! Not only is your argument full of shiat, it's ALSO an example of an argument that every two bit student of rhetoric since Aristotle has learned on Day 1 of Rhetoric 101 not to use. Truly, you must be proud, to just up and buck 2500 years of conventional reason, you guy you.

yourlogicalfallacyis.com
 
2013-10-25 07:47:51 PM  

whistleridge: Annnnd YOUR fallacy is...*spins wheel*...THE SLIPPERY SLOPE!


There's no slippery slope here.  Social security was designed to have 15 people paying into it for every person drawing off the benefit and the average life expectancy was the age of benefit so most people were lucky to live long enough to actually get their own money back before they died.

"appealing to emotion" is all you have since facts completely destroy everything you try to argue for.
 
2013-10-25 07:50:01 PM  
Hey? How about raising taxes on the 1percent that make 1 or 2 million back to the grand and glorious days of 35 to 50 percent tax rate for the 1 percent of the St. Reagan Era?
 
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