Trade-offs in raising Medicare eligibility age

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are living longer, and Republicans want to raise the Medicare eligibility age to help reduce the government's huge deficits.

Raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 would reduce Medicare spending by about 5 percent annually, saving billions of dollars.

But doing so could have some surprising consequences. They include higher premiums for people on Medicare, as well as for workers in employer health plans and those buying their own policies. More people could also be left uninsured. That possibility becomes more real with populous states like Texas saying they won't accept the Medicaid expansion in Obama's health overhaul, which would provide coverage to low-income adults.

President Barack Obama was willing to consider the idea in the past. He hasn't said what he'd do now.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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