Raising the Medicare Age to 67 Is a Lousy Idea


The CBO has a new estimate of the budget savings from raising the Medicare age to 67. Here it is:

Please note: this is not percent of GDP. This is actual dollars. Over the next ten years, raising the Medicare age would save the government a whopping $2 billion per year on average. Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll give the nickel explanation for why the number is so low: “The more people you kick off Medicare, the more you get on Medicaid. That increases federal expenditures. More people will also need exchange insurance, too, which means more people needing subsidies….And we’re not even counting the increase to state expenditures for the added Medicaid, the increased cost to employers who have to provide insurance, the increased cost to all Americans in higher premiums for adding those elderly people to the private risk pools, or the increased out of pocket expenses to those seniors.”

Bottom line: raising the Medicare age to 67 accomplishes almost nothing. And if you take into account the increased costs in other areas (Medicaid and private insurance), it’s a net negative. This is a zombie idea that needs to die once and for all.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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