This is the worst fucking idea I have heard regarding this stupid god damned fiscal cliff, which, lest we forget, is a Republican created crisis:
Ezra Klein says that the shape of a fiscal cliff deal is clear: only a 37 percent rate on top incomes, and a rise in the Medicare eligibility age.
I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that this is just a case of creeping Broderism, that it’s a VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way. Because if Obama really does make this deal, there will be hell to pay.
First, raising the Medicare age is terrible policy. It would be terrible policy even if the Affordable Care Act were going to be there in full force for 65 and 66 year olds, because it would cost the public $2 for every dollar in federal funds saved. And in case you haven’t noticed, Republican governors are still fighting the ACA tooth and nail; if they block the Medicaid expansion, as some will, lower-income seniors will just be pitched into the abyss.
This would be the nadir of bad politics meeting bad policy, and would give Republicans a reward for their hostage taking. Going off the cliff would be far more preferable. Not to mention, it wouldn’t help the budget, because it would just shrink the pool of “more healthy” in Medicare (in quotes, because everyone 65 or over has a pre-existing condition, as we’ve discussed before. That pre-existing condition is being 65. But statistically, 65 year olds are healthier than 67 year olds. Period.).
And I know that once again the Obama loyalists (just what the fuck do I and this website have to do to be considered loyal to Obama for this vanguard of the Obots) will flame me for not being reasonable or having insufficient fealty to our President, but it seems to me that if you want to preserve Medicare and have the rates increase to the Clinton era rates, you need to start screaming about this bullshit deal. Consider me to be screaming.