Should Eligibility for Medicare Be Lowered to Age 55?

“The irony of this late-breaking Medicare proposal is that it could be a bigger step toward a single-payer system than the milquetoast public option plans rejected by Senate moderates as too disruptive of the private market.”  — Washington Post

“Any plan to expand Medicare, which is the government’s largest public plan, beyond its current scope does not solve the nation’s health care crisis, but compounds it. … This scenario follows the typical pattern for price controls —reduced access, compromised quality and increasing costs anyway. We need to address these problems — not perpetuate them — through health reform legislation.”                    — Mayo Clinic

“A Medicare buy-in…would add millions of more patients to a program where it is difficult for a new enrollee to get an appointment with a physician.”                       — American Medical Association

“Medicare pays hospitals just 91 cents for each dollar of care provided. …  Adding millions of people to these programs at a time when they already severely underfund hospitals is unwise and should be opposed.”  — American Hospital Association

Comments (7)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    If nobody likes the idea, why are the Senators talking about it?

  2. Bruce says:

    All these people complaining are the very ones who were perfectly willing to sell out to a bad health reform bill, so long as someone else’s ox was getting gored.

    When it’s their own ox, they want sympathy from the rest of us? Sorry, I’m not buying it.

  3. Larry C. says:

    Medicare is already essentially bankrupt. Why would any rational person consider expanding it?

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    Medicare reimburses hospital 30% less; and doctors 20% less than private insurers. Moreover, this will exacerbate the shortage of primary care providers, who can barely afford to treat Medicare patients on account of the low fees. Plus, there will inevitably be outcries from the eligible group to expand taxpayer subsidies when they discover that Medicare cannot cover 55-64 year old enrollees at premiums this group considers affordable.

  5. Gilbert P. Siegmund says:

    The current idiotic, so-called healthcare reform, with the real goal of socializing all of our healthcare providers and perhaps including people 55 or older in Medicare is absolutely not in the interests of the United States of America or its people. There is no health-care crisis that cannot be handled by private insurance carriers with some minor governmental aid for those few people who really cannot afford insurance or can’t qualify for health insurance.

    Make no mistake about it, there is no need or urgency to pass this type of liberal, left-wing, socialistic healthcare reform. The only quite apparent urgency is to increase federal power and establish massive bureaucracies, and that’s the real goal, in my opinion. We most certainly should not place 1/6 of our economy in the hands of the federal government. Reducing the age of eligibility for medicare to 55 is another ploy to have more federal interference in what should be taken care of by private insurers. The next move would most likely be including those under the age of 55.
    At this time, the federal government is set to run out of funds for medicare in about 8 years. The government can’t even handle social security or medicare properly–in terms of funding. Additionally, adding trillions of dollars in national debt to achieve public, single payer, all inclusive federal healthcare– government, socialized healthcare for all will be extremely counterproductive to our economy and the national debt that we now have.
    A great deal of evidence from the United Kingdom, Canada, and France indicates that all inclusive, public, governmental healthcare leads to no treatment, reduced and inferior treatment, and various forms of rationing–especially as concerns our senior citizens. These three countries keep running out of funds for healthcare, especially for the elderly. Formulas that are used to exclude people over a certain age from receiving essential medical treatment is the same as euthenasia or mercy killing.
    Putting a lot governmental bureaucrats between you and your physician seriously violates the patient-doctor relationship. Moreover, the federal government cannot stop or prevent a whole lot of medicare fraud that is said to be taking place. Also, there have been no proposals to reform tort law with respect to medical care.
    All prior evidence indicates that the U.S. Federal Government has no business being in the health business. Thankyou for the opportunity to express my findings on this matter.

  6. Ken says:

    Gilbert: I like the way you think.

  7. Dennis Orsak says:

    Medicare is broke! How in the world do they think they can expand it to people in my age bracket! The insanity continues!