Rangel And 80 House Democrats Urge President Obama To Stand Firm On Not Raising The Medicare Eligibility Age
Washington, D.C.- Today Congressman Charles B. Rangel and 80 House Democrats signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to reject House Republican efforts to raise the Medicare eligibility age during deficit negotiations.
"Millions of Americans work hard their entire lives and plan on their golden years to start at 65. During ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, House Republicans insist on raising the Medicare eligibility age. They're holding the middle class hostage in order to protect the wealthy," said Rangel. "Not only is this morally wrong, but fiscally irresponsible."
Medicare was created in 1965 and is a national health insurance program that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older and younger people with disabilities.
The Affordable Care Act has strengthened Medicare significantly. Since the law enacted in March 2010, gaps in prescription drug benefits, also known as the "donut hole," have gradually been closing for Medicare recipients while increasing access to basic preventative care for all Americans.
"Medicare has provided Americans with healthcare security for more than five decades. Raising the Medicare eligibility age is not cost-effective and puts the cost burden on younger generations already struggling in this tough economy," added Rangel. "My Democratic Colleagues and I will keep fighting to protect our nation's seniors and their right to retire at 65."
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the costs to states and the private sector would be twice as large as the savings— $11.4 billion in costs versus $5.7 billion in net federal savings. A phased-in approach as included in the Ryan Republican Budget produces no budget savings over the next decade.
To read the full text of the letter to President Obama, click here.
The letter was signed by:
Sheila Jackson Lee
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Eleanor Holmes Norton