Trade-offs in raising Medicare eligibility age

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AP Photo

AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are living longer, and Republicans want to raise the Medicare eligibility age to help reduce the government’s huge deficits.

But doing so could have some surprising consequences, including higher premiums for people on Medicare, as well as for workers in employer health plans and those buying their own policies. More people could also be left uninsured.

House Speaker John Boehner put the idea on the table this week during budget talks.

Raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 would reduce Medicare spending by about 5 percent annually, saving billions of dollars.

The seniors’ lobby AARP is worried – and mounting a major campaign to block any change.

President Barack Obama was willing to consider the idea in the past. He hasn’t said what he’d do now.

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