Romney Offers Proposal To Gradually Increase Medicare Eligibility Age
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday unveiled a proposal to increase the Medicare eligibility age and offer a new option for beneficiaries to purchase private coverage, the Wall Street Journal reports (Murray/King, Wall Street Journal, 2/25).
Romney said that his proposal would begin in 2022. Under the proposals, the Medicare eligibility age would increase by one month annually. "In the long run, the eligibility ages for [Medicare and Social Security] will be indexed to longevity so they increase only as fast as life expectancy," Romney said (Espo, AP/Contra Costa Times, 2/24).
Members of both parties have discussed raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, but the idea has not gained traction. President Obama suggested such an increase in his proposal to reduce the budget deficit last summer, but the deal did not materialize.
Romney Also Suggests 'Premium Support' Plan for Medicare
Romney previously has said that under his Medicare reform plan, he would allow beneficiaries to choose between using "premium support" to purchase traditional Medicare fee-for-service coverage or a private health plan.
GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also have advocated for giving beneficiaries a choice between purchasing a private health plan or traditional Medicare coverage (Wall Street Journal, 2/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.