Avik Roy: Let’s Raise Medicare’s Eligibility Age

Full post is worth reading. Here are the conclusions:

  • Raising Medicare’s retirement age increases the progressivity of government health benefits, and protects minorities ― the opposite of what opponents contend.
  • Raising Medicare’s retirement age will significantly reduce federal spending and will also help reduce overall health spending.
  •  A naked increase of the retirement age would put more seniors on Medicaid, but allowing those seniors to enroll in the exchanges entirely solves that problem.

Comments (7)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    Makes it more progressive, bah humbug. If you want to make medicare more progressive and means tested, index the eligabiligy age to lifetime income.

  2. seyyed says:

    this makes the most sense of any proposal to reform Medicaid it is just difficult to convince people on the verge of retirement to support this (considering the baby-boomers are beginning to enter retirement).

  3. Chris says:

    I agree, and I don’t know why we need exceptions for “hard jobs.”

    Where is it written in the constitution, the bible, or any book people purport to live by that you’re entitled to 1 career or job and 1 only for your entire lifespan?

    Do we expect 65 year olds to be out carrying rocks around? No. We do expect 65 year old former rock haulers to do the responsible thing and plan for a second career? Yes. Many professions are age limited, we don’t need exceptions and any exception would be ripe for an equal protection constitutional challenge anyways. If workers are in a age limited field they should be expected to plan ahead.

    We don’t create entitlements for NFL football players who get too old to play, they’re expected to save and invest and plan ahead so that a few years of peak earning can last longer. Stars might make enough to live off the investments after they retire, but your average player will not, and they’re taught to plan ahead. Same should be for coal miners or whatever other profession someone brings up.

  4. Studebaker says:

    I’ve heard it said that raising Medicare eligibility age by, say, two years, wouldn’t really save much money because young seniors have fewer health problems than old seniors. Now, if the Death Panels were implemented and given the ability to reduce the duration of seniors’ Medicare dependence by two years, that would save a lot. However, I have my doubts about whether either of these two scenarios is politically feasible.

  5. Neil Caffrey says:

    Medicaid is such a polarizing topic. People refuse to communicate rationally about reforms.

  6. August says:

    Yep, up the age. But do it slowly so retirees can adjust.

  7. Jordan says:

    +1 Diogenes