Lieberman, Coburn Propose Raising Medicare Eligibility Age.

The AP (6/29, Espo) reports that Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Tom Coburn “jumped into Congress’ cut-the-deficit competition on Tuesday, proposing to raise the age of Medicare eligibility to 67 and increase monthly premiums for millions of current beneficiaries.”
Bloomberg News (6/29, Armstrong) reports that Lieberman and Coburn “are the latest of several groups of lawmakers to attempt to trim Medicare spending as part of a broader congressional effort to trim the US budget deficit on the way to a deal to raise the country’s statutory borrowing limit.” Notably, “the top Democrat in the US House, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, quickly rejected Coburn and Lieberman’s plan.”
The Washington Post (6/29, Helderman, Kane) reports, “The two senators conceded that their plan would be unpopular but said it presented the prescription to long-term health for the federal program.”
McClatchy (6/29, Lightman) reports, “The senators’ effort comes as President Barack Obama plans another round of debt reduction talks Wednesday with Senate Democrats. … Reaction to the Lieberman-Coburn plan was lukewarm.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “praised the senators for coming up with a plan, but didn’t endorse it. Reid called it a ‘bad idea.'”
Kaiser: Medicare Beneficiaries Already Strained By Health Costs. CQ (6/29, Norman, Subscription Publication) reports, “Lawmakers may be eyeing public programs like Medicare for cuts in their debt ceiling talks, but beneficiaries already are shouldering a substantial portion of their own health spending,” according to “a series of reports issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Tuesday that try to put the faces of beneficiaries back in a debate focused more on the larger puzzle of how to extract more than $2 trillion in savings from the federal budget.” The portrait “of Medicare enrollees painted by Kaiser is of a population in modest circumstances” Notably, “half of all people on Medicare had incomes below $22,000 in 2010; fewer than 1 percent had incomes of more than $250,000, Kaiser says in reports based on government data and economic modeling.” The Los Angeles Times (6/29, Helfand) also covers the story.

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