Here's precisely why raising the Medicare eligibility age appears to be the only solution to keeping the program solvent: the Republican Party, which hates Medicare and always has, and the compliant DC news media, which self-consciously dittos the Republicans so as to not appear too "liberal," say so.
And so it is.
But I probably don't need to tell you that it's really, really flipping stupid -- times a thousand. And it's simply designed to sabotage Medicare and the broader healthcare system.
During election campaigns the Republicans invariably pretend to be in love with Medicare, as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan reminded us this year by turning the Affordable Care Act's Medicare savings into a cudgel to flog the president and the Democrats as enemies of the program when in fact the opposite is true in nearly every way. Not only did Romney inject the $700 billion savings into the discourse as a campaign issue, it practically became a centerpiece of his campaign -- not to mention one of his biggest lies. And now the same Republicans who joined Romney in this line of attack are insisting that Medicare be one of the programs on the fiscal cliff chopping block.
The idea is a familiar one. They want to raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67, and they're receiving hearty endorsements from the cynical, nearsighted and compliant DC press. [continue reading]