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Hike in Medicare Age: In or Out?

Elder hands clasped
Flickr Creative Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

In the still-unresolved “fiscal cliff” negotiations over spending cuts and revenue increases, one Republican proposal that would have a huge impact on Floridians -- raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 -- apparently has not been ruled out, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

The suggestion has drawn wrath from Congressional Democrats, but President Obama has not expressly ruled it out, even though Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said he had.

The President has offered $400 million in Medicare cuts, but hasn’t cited specifics.

President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner walked away from talks Thursday  after just 15 minutes, wire services reported. The talks were called “frank,” which in diplomat-speak means they didn’t go well.

Consumer and senior advocates have released number-crunches showing that such an age increase would place a huge financial burden on both patients and private employers’ retiree coverage. 

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.