Democratic lawmakers joined with leading labor unions and health care advocates Tuesday to urge fellow lawmakers to preserve Medicare funding during the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) decried the potential effects finding savings in the entitlement program would have on the U.S. economy.
“I’m against raising the age eligibility for Medicare,” Waxman said during a briefing on Capitol Hill. “It doesn’t save much money but what it does is takes people who are waiting for their Medicare eligibility and forces them to pay more money. It doesn’t save the government any money, some of these people will be able to buy a policy but some them will end up on Medicaid, it doesn’t strike me as a wise idea.”
Republicans have called for entitlement reform in exchange for a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, drawing the ire of progressive Democratic lawmakers and advocates who want no change to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Their focus was on highlighting how Medicaid provides nursing home care for seniors, covers one-third of the nation’s births, delivers preventive and primary care for low income children and grants access to home care for older Americans and people with disabilities.