Why Raising the Eligibility Age is the 'Single Worst Idea' for Medicare Reform
From The Nation
Why the poor favor the Democrats
But the truly terrible idea here is raising the Medicare eligibility age. It’s something Obama reportedly offered in 2011 during the debt ceiling negotiations, and it was every bit a bad idea then as it is now. Yale political science professor Jacob Hacker has called it “the single worst idea for Medicare reform.”
The key facts to understand about raising the Medicare eligibility age: not only does it shift substantial costs onto seniors, it also doesn’t save the federal government any notable amount of money. It’s a lose-lose proposition. By kicking seniors aged 65 and 66 off of Medicare, the government would at first seem to save $5.7 billion. Of course, this is nothing more than cost-shifting: those seniors would then have to pay $3.7 billion out of their pockets in 2014, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And some would likely be unable to find private insurance at that age if they’ve already retired. For those that are still employed, their employers are projected to spend an additional $4.5 billion to insure those who would otherwise be on Medicare. So you’ve screwed over seniors and their employers, but at least the federal government saved some money, right? Not so fast. Because 65- and 66-year-olds are among the healthiest of all Medicare beneficiaries, what you’ve done is removed pay-ins from the people least likely to need expensive care. The risk-pool math looks worse, and the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that raising the Medicare eligibility age “would have little effect on the trajectory of Medicare’s long-term spending.”
From LA Times
Speaking to donors after the election, Mitt Romney attributed his loss to President Obama to the administration's strategy of "giving a lot of stuff" to blacks and Latinos, citing in particular "free healthcare" and "amnesty for the children of illegals." But data show a more plausible explanation: Black, Latino and Asian American voters, who overwhelmingly voted for Obama, were simply evaluating the long-term record of each party. The data we analyzed show unequivocally that minorities fare better under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones. Census data tracking annual changes in income, poverty and unemployment over the last five decades tell a striking story about the relationship between the president's party and minority well-being. Under Democratic presidents, the incomes of black families grew by an average of $895 a year, but only by $142 a year under Republicans. Across 26 years of Democratic leadership, unemployment among blacks declined by 7.9%; under 28 years of Republican presidencies, the rate increased by a net of 13.7%. Similarly, the black poverty rate fell by 23.6% under Democratic presidents and rose by 3% under Republicans.
Geraldo Rivera: Too Little, Too Late on Immigration
From Latino Fox News
What does it say about the GOP’s outreach to the Latino community that the two distinguished members who finally bucked their party’s noxious anti-immigration sentiment have only days left in their Senate careers? Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona have represented their border states since Bill Clinton was president. The senior female Republican, Senator Hutchison, assumed office in June 1993. The powerful Minority Whip, Senator Kyl, has served since 1994 and his distinguished Senate tenure was preceded by eight years in the House. Mitt Romney thought he could win 38 percent of Latinos by campaigning with Senator Marco Rubio on Calle Ocho in Miami’s ‘Little Havana?’ Really?