January 12, 2012 Leave a comment
One of the biggest missed opportunities for Obama was that he didn’t take the GOP pretense that they were defenders of Medicare, and use it to pivot into offering a Medicare buy-in plan for the general public. It would have been good politics and good policy. Which is why, of course, it’s only supported by Crazy Liberal Bloggers.
The unsurpassable Atrios notes that…
Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to, say, 0, would save money.
…which led me to Brad DeLong’s excellent version of what the Congressional Budget Office should be saying…
CBO estimates that raising the MEA [to 67] would reduce net Medicare outlays by $148 billion from 2012 through 2021. It would also reduce tax revenue collections over that time frame by $80 billion as corporations upped their tax-shielded spending on employee health benefits. 65 and 66-year olds and the businesses that employ them would spend an extra $220 billion purchasing Medicare-level health insurance. And 1/4 of 65 and 66-year olds would find themselves uninsured.
…which led me to The Incidental Economist’s excellent FAQ on why raising the minimum age for Medicare is an idiot idea.
People ask me why I prefer to get my analysis online, as opposed to the Official Newspaper Pundocracy. Atrios, DeLong, and The Incidental Economist are superb examples of why.