For Real Health Care Savings, We Should Lower the Medicare Eligibility Age

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American politics is obsessed with taxes to an unhealthy degree, so much that you sometimes see politicians pushing policy changes that lower taxes but make people poorer overall.

One example is the Republicans’ idea to raise the Medicare eligibility age, which would save the government a little bit of money but radically increase costs on private individuals.

Medicare is cheaper than private insurance, and Medicaid is cheaper than Medicare. What’s more, Medicaid coverage is almost as good as private insurance despite being radically cheaper. 

Conservatives will never admit it, but health insurance is an area where the government is very very good at cost control. The government insurers buy health care services on behalf of a larger group of people than the typical private insurer, so they get cheaper prices. A single payer would be able to get even cheaper prices, but that’s the basic direction of things – the more people you’re buying for, the cheaper the price per person.

Given that, the obvious way to save people money on health care is to lower the Medicare eligibility age and allow more people to take advantage of low cost government health insurance.

This would require an increase in tax rates, but so what?

If my taxes go up a bit, but my out-of-pocket health care spending goes down by more, I’m better off.

Likewise, if my taxes go down a bit, but my out-of-pocket health costs spike I’m worse off.

The Republicans are proposing the second option, and hoping you won’t blame them for the huge spike in your out-of-pocket costs. It’s a bad deal and Democrats shouldn’t go for it.

This entry was posted in Budget, Health.

One Response to For Real Health Care Savings, We Should Lower the Medicare Eligibility Age

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