Monday, September 23, 2013

GOP Bargaining Chip: Higher Medicare, SS Eligibility Age

TeaParty wants government out of government.
Republicans want to change the rules on Medicare and Social Security, raising the age of eligibility for both, without even suggesting a better alternative.

That would be asking rich Americans who are eligible to pay Social Security taxes on all their income, not just the first $113,700 of it. Medicare taxes all payroll income (at 1.45 percent, except for the self-employed who pay double on both--a travesty in itself, since most self-employed people don't make much money).

According to a "report from the Center for American Progress ... if lawmakers were to raise the [Medicare] eligibility age from 65 to 67, as many as 5.4 million 65- and 66-year-olds would have to search for alternative sources of coverage by postponing retirement, enrolling in private insurance, or qualifying for Medicaid. Loss of coverage would also exacerbate the economic insecurity of workers close to retirement, 62 percent of whom say they will delay their retirements as a result of the recession."

That comes from ThinkProgress here.

Let me tell you from experience that good health insurance in your early and mid-60s is absolutely vital. The body begins rapid deterioration at that point and medical conditions you never even imagined crop up quickly. Preventive care--such as I have had in good supply--saves a ton of money over the long haul.

If I have to wait until a crisis to take care of some of these conditions, it would require hospitalization and the bill would go through the roof. Medicare is an investment, one that helps cut the potential bill by a considerable sum.

(Photo: rwnj.org)

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