Monday, August 15, 2011

Tom Coburn (R-OK) would means test Medicare Part B in premium collection, raise retirement age gradually

Walter Pincus has a column on p A15 of the Monday Aug. 15 Washington Post, in which he discusses a proposal to reform Medicare by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). The link is here

Coburn, compared to Campbell Aug. 11, maintains that Medicare taxes and premiums may well cover the Part A inpatient, but not Part B, which he says is only 25% covered by contributions, or Part D, which he says is 83% taxpayer funded despite the notorious “doughnut hole”.  He wants to raise premiums markedly for Part B for individuals making over $150000 a year or couples making $300000. Why the sharp cutoff, I ask? Should accumulated or perhaps inherited (generational) wealth be included in the means testing?

He would also gradually raise the eligibility age up to 69 over many years. The average person should have about ten years of access, with increasing life spans.

Coburn is himself a physician. 

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