Update on Medicare at 60: Will the Bill Pass? - Hella Health (2024)

During his presidential campaign, President Biden made a bold suggestion that caught everyone’s attention. He proposed lowering the age at which people can start using Medicare – the U.S. government’s health insurance program – from 65 to 60. This idea has since sparked lots of conversation, because it could affect millions of people.

In this article, we’ll give you the latest news on Medicare at 60. We’ll discuss what exactly the proposal involves, and we’ll talk about how likely it is to become a reality. We’ll also look into how much it might cost and weigh up the good and bad points of the plan.

But more importantly, we’ll explore what this all means for you. That includes how it could affect people nearing retirement and the kind of impact it could have on healthcare for everyone in the country. Understanding these effects is really important because this proposal could change the way healthcare works for millions of people.

So, let’s jump right in and take a closer look at Biden’s Medicare plan.

What is the Biden Medicare Plan?

The Biden Medicare Plan proposes to lower the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 60, which would make 60-year-olds eligible for the same benefits that are currently available only for people aged 65 and older.

The Medicare at 60 plan also proposes to expand the list of services covered under Medicare, including dental, vision, and hearing services. This expansion of services would help to fill the gaps in coverage that currently exist for many Americans.

In his quest to broaden healthcare coverage, President Biden has tabled two significant initiatives. One is the widely-discussed adjustment of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60. The second, a substantial policy move, calls for Congress to endorse a government-run health insurance plan.

This ‘public option’ could serve as an alternative for individuals who currently acquire coverage independently or via the Obamacare marketplaces. Interestingly, this initiative met with substantial resistance from insurers in 2009 during the Affordable Care Act‘s congressional debates.

Will Medicare at 60 pass?

The passage of Joe Biden’s Medicare at age 60 bill is not guaranteed. The Medicare at 60 proposal will need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before it can become law. The Democrats hold a slim majority in both the House and the Senate, which gives the Biden administration some hope that the proposal will pass. However, there is still a lot of opposition from Republicans, who argue that the plan is too expensive and would lead to higher taxes.

Additionally, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which pays for the existing Medicare bills, is expected to face insolvency by 2026. This means that soon enough, the government might not be able to pay for Part A premiums for existing Medicare beneficiaries, let alone the millions more that the Biden administration wishes to add to the program.

That, coupled with America’s 1.38 Trillion dollar budget deficit in the Fiscal Year 2022, makes it quite an uphill battle for Biden to convince the opposition on the numbers.

The nation’s hospitals, a formidable political force, stand ready to challenge any attempt to lower the Medicare age. Their primary concern is the potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue. Adding millions of people to Medicare could lead to this outcome as Medicare reimbursem*nt rates for hospital admissions are typically half those paid by commercial or employer-sponsored insurance plans. Hospitals are on high alert, bracing for a significant financial hit if the proposal passes.

Medicare at 60 cost: can the government afford it?

According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 would inflate the federal budget deficits by $155 billion over the 2026-2031 period, due to the impacts on federal revenues and mandatory spending.

Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 would inflate the federal budget deficits by $155 billion over the 2026-2031 period.

This change would lead to a substantial increase in enrolment numbers, with approximately 7.3 million more people predicted to sign up for both Medicare Part A and Part B, making Medicare their primary source of coverage. The plan would be funded by an increase in taxes on high-income individuals and corporations.

Pros and cons of this plan

The Biden Medicare plan is quite popular with the general public. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll from January 2019, around 85% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans are in favor of allowing individuals as young as 50 to buy into Medicare.

Here are a few pros of this plan:

  • Access to affordable healthcare for 7.3 million more Americans
  • Increasing coverage by including dental, vision, and hearing services
  • Would help many early retirees ease into retirement life

However, there’s no doubting the fact that this plan does have its fair share of drawbacks. Here are a few:

  • Requires an increase in taxes on high-income individuals and corporations
  • Additional financial strain on hospitals

Conclusion

The Biden Medicare at age 60 Plan proposes to provide access to affordable healthcare for millions of Americans. The plan aims to reduce the high cost of healthcare for Americans aged 60 to 64 and fill the gaps in coverage that currently exist. While the passage of the proposal is not guaranteed, it has the potential to provide significant benefits for millions of Americans.

All in all, if you’ve been wondering, “Is Medicare at 60 dead?”, then it might be reassuring to know that it is not. However, the bill isn’t expected to be presented at least in this fiscal year.

Hella StaffJuly 4, 2023

Update on Medicare at 60: Will the Bill Pass? - Hella Health (2024)
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