Boston Globe: Deval Patrick Defends President Obama On Energy Policy In one instance, Patrick may have actually helped former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. In his Republican presidential campaign, Romney has stood by the health care overhaul he implemented in Massachusetts, while saying he opposes Obama’s overhaul nationally. Romney has said the Massachusetts reform worked for the state – something his successor agrees with. Patrick said the program has been “enormously important and successful” in Massachusetts, noting that 98 percent of residents have health insurance, including 99.8 percent of children, while 90 percent of residents have access to primary care. Patrick said the reform added just 1 percent to state spending (Schoenberg, 2/26).
Video: Mitt Romney Embraces Privatizing Medicare and Social Security and Raising Eligibility Ages
Brad DeLong: Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age Is a Really Bad Idea Blogging: Is This a Problem with the Media or with the Congressional Budget Office?
Director’s Blog: Raising the Ages of Eligibility for Medicare and Social Security: If the eligibility age was raised above 65, fewer people would be eligible for Medicare, and outlays for the program would decline relative to those projected under current law. CBO expects that most people affected by the change would obtain health insurance from other sources, primarily employers or other government programs, although some would have no health insurance. Federal spending on those other programs would increase, partially offsetting the Medicare savings. Many of the people who would otherwise have enrolled in Medicare would face higher premiums for health insurance, higher out-of-pocket costs for health care, or both.
Romney Proposes Raising Medicare Eligibility Age in 2022
February 24, 2012 Suehs Signs Rule Banning Abortion Affiliates – “If there was any hope that the state was seeking a compromise with the federal government over Texas’ Women’s Health Program, it’s fading fast. At the direction of lawmakers and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Texas Health and Human Services commissioner signed a rule on Thursday that formally bans Planned Parenthood clinics and other “affiliates of abortion providers” from participating in the program — something the Obama administration has said is a deal-breaker for the nearly $40 million-per-year state-federal Medicaid program.”
Romney Offers Proposal To Gradually Increase Medicare Eligibility Age
Romney said that his proposal would begin in 2022. Under the proposals, the Medicare eligibility age would increase by one month annually. “In the long run, the eligibility ages for [Medicare and Social Security] will be indexed to longevity so they increase only as fast as life expectancy,” Romney said (Espo, AP/Contra Costa Times, 2/24).
Blog Health Care: Raising the Age for Medicare Eligibility
This week the Congressional Budget Office released a report on proposals to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security. The CBO concludes that raising Medicare eligibility to 67 would reduce federal spending by $148 billion between 2012 through 2021. By 2030, Medicare’s net spending would be reduced by 5% – 4.7% of GDP rather than 5%. Those numbers sound good. But reducing federal expenditures doesn’t reduce the need for medical care. Some lucky folks (I’m in that category) (a) have employment that provides health insurance and (b) are happy to continue working. Some who would rather retire will continue to work, increasing health care costs for their employer (and fellow employees). Some will scramble to find alternatives which will cost them more than Medicare would. And some will become uninsured, at an age when this is progressively risky. Overall costs – to individuals, employers and other government programs would probably go up more than the $148 billion reduction in Medicare outlays. The CBO does not comment on the fact that employers are not clamoring for ready-to-retire employees to stay on the job simply to avoid being uninsured. Raising the Medicare eligibility age isn’t meaningful cost reduction – it’s simply a form of hot potato, dumping the costs into other accounts. It intensifies the fragmentation of our health system, and worsens overall quality of care. In my view, the proposal is born out of despair about achieving constructive Medicare reform in which health professionals, patients and families collaborate on behalf of improved care (basically more compassion and less technology) and reduced costs. From 35 years of practice in a not-for-profit HMO setting I know this kind of collaboration is possible. But it requires a spirit of cooperation and trust that is not easy to find in our toxic political environment.
3 Reasons Why We Should Raise Medicare’s Eligibility Age
In attempting to address the problems of Medicare and medical expenses on the whole, members of Congress should look to the history of the program. The House Ways and Means Committee, when charged with assessing the costs of the program, projected that total costs for the first year would run no more than $1.3 billion when total spending in the first year actually was $4.6 billion. The committee did not improve its accuracy over time, projecting that hospital spending would amount to just $3.1 billion in 1970 when it was actually $7.1 billion. John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, explains that these chronic projection mistakes are because analysts failed to account for increased demand as 19 million people were given free access to unlimited health care. Today, Congress makes the same mistakes in different ways, failing to account for a dynamic market that undermines direct controls and ignores price-controlling efforts.
Daily Kos: Raising Medicare eligibility age wouldn’t just shift health care costs, but increase them
Cost-shifting cuts don’t actually reduce health care spending; they just shift costs from the government to the private sector. Increasing Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67, as Senators Tom Coburn and Joseph Lieberman have proposed and as the Obama administration reportedly floated during the debt ceiling negotiations, is a classic example. While raising the eligibility age would reduce government spending on Medicare, it would shift the costs to individuals and businesses. It would also increase the number of uninsured 65- and 66-year-olds, leading to worse health outcomes and making it harder for older Americans to find work.
Raising Medicare and Social Security Eligibility Ages
The long-term budget impact includes Medicare spending declining by 5 percent and SS spending declining by 13 percent. After a decade, CBO estimates that federal spending could be reduced by $380 billion (including effects of GDP growth and revenue increases). Even under the worst assumptions about the success of raising eligibility ages, debt will be reduced by about 10 percent of GDP by 2035 and 40 percent of GDP in 2060 (red line). After considering the economic gains from an increase in savings and investment, higher GDP, and the higher revenue that CBO estimates would occur as a result of these policies, reductions to the debt nearly double (green line).