Proposals to increase the eligibility age for Medicare drew fire from across the political spectrum during a Washington meeting of some debt negotiation leaders.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, said during the Fix the Debt Conference that he favored targeting the growth in healthcare costs instead of “shifting costs to seniors.”
Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress, agreed with Edmund Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, that increasing the Medicare eligibility age would just shift the cost of their care to other systems. Tanden said employers would cover much of the shifted cost, while Haislmaier expected a cost shift to younger and healthier buyers in coming health insurance exchanges.
Other healthcare cuts drew more support from conference attendees as part of either a short-term deal to avoid looming healthcare cuts at the end of the year or as part of a major debt-reduction agreement.