In a move that looks like a precursor to government healthcare for all, it appears that the Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are planning another round of healthcare initiatives that could include lowering the Medicare eligibility age, following their major expansion of the Affordable Care Act this year.
Democrats are still negotiating over which healthcare policy elements could be in the second of two spending programs the administration plans to unveil soon, according to congressional aides and industry groups.
The package is likely to include proposals to expand Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 60 and to enable the federal government to negotiate drug prices in the health program for seniors.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said:
“We should lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 down to 60. There are many millions of seniors who would be very, very grateful if we did that right now.”
He is no doubt correct, but who will pay for it? Medicare will be bankrupt in just a few short years. With more people joining, fewer people will be paying.
Hospital groups say that expanding Medicare eligibility would sharply reduce their reimbursements for providing care just as many are struggling with Covid-related costs.
Mr. Biden has said lowering the Medicare age could be a tool to get more people covered. As many as 23 million new people could become eligible for the program that now provides coverage to about 60 million seniors, according to Avalere Health, a consulting company.