By JENNIFER HABERKORN | 7/28/11 12:41 PM EDT
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner failed to strike a “grand bargain” on the nation’s deficit, but they may have pulled off another trick: revolutionizing the debate over Medicare.
When they both accepted the idea of increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 67, they gave a controversial idea more legitimacy and high-profile support than it’s ever gotten before.
The White House’s Fiscal Commission, led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, listed the idea of raising the eligibility age with the likes of such dramatic structural changes as the public option, block grants or an all-payer system. Alice Rivlin and former Sen. Pete Domenici didn’t even bring up the idea in their deficit report. And the top Democrats in both the House and Senate brushed aside the concept just last month.
But now the idea of raising the eligibility age has gotten the support of Obama and Boehner. While the age change is not expected to be part of the latest debt ceiling compromises, the idea is now likely to be a permanent fixture in the Medicare debate and, someday, to become a reality.
The idea has been loosely supported by Republicans in the past. Continue reading
Filed under: Health Care Law Implementation, In The Courts, Medicaid | Tagged: AARP, Alan Simpson, Alice Rivlin, Americans for Tax Reform, Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, Congressional Budget Office, Eric Zimmerman, Erskine Bowles, Fiscal Commission, Grover Norquist, Harry Reid, Healthcare Leadership Council, Joe Lieberman, John Boehner, Mary Grealy, McDermott Will & Emery, Medicare, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Neera Tanden, Pete Domenici, Social Security, Tom Coburn | Comments Off on Increasing The Medicare Eligibility Age: A Smaller Bargain