May 18, 2022

Proposal to Lower Medicare Age Portends the Threat to Seniors From Democrats’ “Medicare for All” Scheme

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the budgetary effects of lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60:

“Seniors who rely on Medicare must be protected from this dangerous idea that would be the first step toward a Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ scheme. Lowering the eligibility age to 60 would threaten the hard-earned benefits of current and future seniors and force Americans off their private insurance. This proposal would increase spending by $222 billion, adding $155 billion to the deficit over five years, and drive Medicare faster towards its projected insolvency in 2026. Congress should never consider a proposal that endangers Medicare for America’s seniors, either now or in the future. Washington Democrats must put the needs of seniors and the long-term health of the Medicare program ahead of their progressive agenda.”

Key Points of Lowering Medicare Eligibility Age:

  • Would increase the federal budget by $222 billion and increase deficits by $155 billion between 2026-2031.
  • Medicare spending would rise by $371 billion between 2026-2031.
  • Medicare Part A spending would increase by $146 billion, threatening the Hospital Trust Fund which is currently projected to go insolvent by 2026.
  • 92 percent of people transitioning to Medicare under this policy already have insurance coverage, including 4.8 million Americans who will be forced off their private insurance.
  • Social Security outlays would increase by $18 billion between 2026-2031, threatening program solvency.
  • 400,000 individuals (typically younger individuals) with current employer-sponsored insurance would lose offers of private insurance, and 200,000 will become uninsured.
  • Would lead to a 2.2% increase in ACA market premiums.