Congressional Democrats are reportedly aiming to use a forthcoming coronavirus recovery package to lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60, a development that comes days after Sen. Bernie Sanders publicly advocated for the proposal as a way to expand healthcare coverage for seniors amid the deadly pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that “proposals to expand Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 60 and to enable the federal government to negotiate drug prices in the health program for seniors—both of which President Biden supported on the campaign trail—are… likely to be included” in the new package, the second part of a two-pronged “Build Back Better” program focused on infrastructure, jobs, healthcare, and other priorities.
“We should lower the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 down to 60,” Sanders told the Journal, which noted that the popular proposal is already drawing opposition from Republicans and the hospital industry.
According to an analysis last April by the healthcare consulting firm Avalere, lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 could extend the program’s coverage to as many as 23 million people. “There are many millions of seniors who would be very, very grateful if we did that right now,” said Sanders.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction