WASHINGTON – Raising the eligibility age for enrolling in Medicare won’t produce nearly the cost savings that had been assumed previously, said a new report issued Thursday.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis said that phasing in an increase in the eligibility age from 65 to 67 years old would lower the budget deficit by just $19 billion over the coming decade. Savings would rise more in future years, however.
The CBO report said many people who otherwise would be on Medicare would be eligible for subsidies under the new health care law and that many others would receive primary coverage through their employer or their spouse’s employer. And those entering the program at 65 or 66 are, on balance, healthier than other enrollees.
Raising the retirement age is a proposal embraced by budget hawks, particularly Republicans seeking to lower the program’s unsustainable growth. But Democrats and advocates for senior citizens like AARP oppose the idea and it’s a nonstarter in the current round of budget negotiations getting underway in Congress.
A CBO study last year predicted the eligibility age increase would generate $113 billion over a decade.
Guard recruiter wounds two superiors
Millington, Tenn. – A member of the National Guard opened fire at an armory outside a U.S. Navy base in Tennessee, wounding two soldiers before being subdued and disarmed by others soldiers, officials said Thursday.
Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback said the shooter was apprehended Thursday by other National Guard members, and that he did not have the small handgun used in the shooting in his possession by the time officers arrived. Stanback said two National Guard members were shot, one in the foot and one in the leg.
“I’m sure there could have been more injury if they hadn’t taken him into custody,” Stanback said.
Authorities haven’t released the name of the shooter or the victims. Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s adjutant general, said all three of the men were recruiters and that the shooter was a sergeant first class who had been in the Guard about six or seven years and that the victims – one a major and the other a sergeant major – were his superiors.
The shooter was a recruiter who had been relieved of duty, said a law enforcement official briefed on the developments.