WASHINGTON–Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday the White House has taken off the fiscal cliff negotiating table raising the eligibility age for Medicare–which covers every senior in the nation.
“It’s no longer one of the the items being considered by the White House,” Durbin said in the Capitol on Thursday.
Seniors in the U.S. get their health insurance through the federal Medicare program starting at age 65.
The White House did not include raising the Medicare age in these current fiscal cliff talks; the notion was floated during the debt ceiling talks of 2011. Congressional Republicans had floated raising the age to get coverage as a way of curbing costs of the program as Congress and the White House wrangle over spending reductions and tax revenues.
Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said raising the Medicare age would not provide significant cost savings, would force many people impacted to pay more out-of-pocket for health insurance for those gap years–if they are not employed–and would merely be a “trophy” for Republicans.