Durbin: White House no longer considering increase in Medicare age

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US Senator of Illinois Dick Durbin

US Senator of Illinois Dick Durbin (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – One of President Barack Obama’s top Senate allies says an increase in the Medicare eligibility age is “no longer one of the items being considered by the White House” in the negotiations on avoiding the “fiscal cliff.”

Fellow Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin says he didn’t get that information directly from the president or the White House. But he is regularly apprised of the status of negotiations.

Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues.

Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain far apart on a potential agreement to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts looming at the end of the year.

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