While many top Democrats, like Nancy Pelosi, have been come out against raising the Medicare eligibility age, they are not directly part of the current negotiations. Right now the negotiations are taking place solely between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner. In an interview to be broadcast this Friday night, ABC’s Barbara Walters asked the President about the possibility of raising the Medicare eligibility retirement age, and he did not dismiss it as unacceptable. From ABC News:
Raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 is “something that’s been floated,” Obama said, not dismissing the idea outright.
“When you look at the evidence, it’s not clear that it actually saves a lot of money,” he said. “But what I’ve said is let’s look at every avenue, because what is true is we need to strengthen Social Security, we need to strengthen Medicare for future generations, the current path is not sustainable because we’ve got an aging population and health care costs are shooting up so quickly.”
This is a uniquely terrible policy idea. The reason it is still being discussed is in large part because the Obama administration refuses to affirmatively come out against it. If Obama had said the idea was unacceptably bad for regular Americans weeks ago, the issue would have been dropped.
Obama previously agreed to this change last year as part of a possible debt ceiling deal, and he is still leaving the door open to it once again.