Debate Club

Should the Medicare Eligibility Age Be Raised?

Should the Medicare Eligibility Age Be Raised?

As part of his counter-offer to President Obama's plan to avert the so call fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Bohener proposed raising the eligibility age of Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly, from 65 to 67. Entitlement programs make up an increasing part of federal spending, and with the baby boomer population entering retirement, it stands grow even larger. Though many agree that entitlement reform is a necessary part of a budget deal, there is disagreement on how exactly to overhaul Medicare and other programs.

Proponents of raising the Medicare age point out that the eligibility age has not changed since the program was established in 1965, even thought the average American life span has grown. Raising the age limit would cut $148 billion from the program's cost in the next decade, they say.

Opponents argue that whatever raising the age will save the government, it will cost the American people much more. The 65-to-67 age group would be shifted from the Medicare risk pool, where they are youngest and thus the least costly to insure, to the private insurance risk pool, where they would be the oldest and would raise premiums. Younger Americans would end up having to absorb the cost, which opponents say would be double the amount of money the government saved.

Should the Medicare eligibility age be raised? Here is the Debate Club's take:


The Arguments

#1
104 Pts
Raising Medicare Age Will Increase Cost for People of All Ages

No – Raising Medicare Age Will Increase Cost for People of All Ages

Debra Whitman AARP Executive Vice President for Policy and International

#3
39 Pts
Boehner's Medicare Proposal Is Sleight of Hand, Not Cost Control

No – Boehner's Medicare Proposal Is Sleight of Hand, Not Cost Control

Ethan Rome Executive Director of Health Care for America Now

#4
18 Pts
Raise the Social Security Age, Not the Medicare Age

No – Raise the Social Security Age, Not the Medicare Age

David E. Williams Cofounder of MedPharma Partners LLC,

#5
-24 Pts
Raising Medicare Eligibility a First Step Towards Deficit Reduction

Yes – Raising Medicare Eligibility a First Step Towards Deficit Reduction

James Capretta Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

#6
-35 Pts
We Should Encourage Americans to Keep Working, Not Retire

Yes – We Should Encourage Americans to Keep Working, Not Retire

Robert Moffit Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation


Previous Topics

You Might Also Like


See More