How Raising The Medicare Age Hurts The Job Market

older workers job gainsI think we all agree by now that Medicare has to be changed. It is the single largest source of government spending increases, and will consume nearly the entire budget in just a couple of decades if healthcare inflation is not kept in check. That being said, a bit of caution is advised when tinkering with a program like this. The unintended consequences of reform poorly enacted can be great. CNN Money highlights one example:

If senior citizens can’t sign up for Medicare until age 67, many will likely stay on the job longer so they can keep their health insurance. That means it could be tougher for mid-career workers to move up, which in turn could make it harder for younger workers to secure entry-level positions, economists say.

“The only way to free up jobs at the bottom for young people is for older workers to retire,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands. “No
one wants to retire without health care.”

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2 Responses to How Raising The Medicare Age Hurts The Job Market

  1. Barneysday says:

    I have a regular mantra that I firmly believe in, and that is to not take much of anything at face value. Instead, take a look at what’s behind the curtain, determine what’s the real agenda. Upping the “retirement” age is a perfect case in point.

    Companies are pushing their older workers out the door as a matter of routine procedure. Replacing them with younger workers who are paid less and require less benefits. So calling it a “retirement” age is a fallacy. Many older workers would like to work longer, or even just make it to 65. It’s not happening in today’s economy.

    So instead of calling it increasing the retirement age, why not be truthful and honest, and call it what it is; the age at which coverage begins. Because as it is, the implied message being sent is a senior will simply move from his work health coverage to Medicare. The truth is the a significant number of seniors today are already facing a gap between the time they are being forced out of their jobs and thus losing medical coverage, and years later when they finally can attain Medicare.

    • That’s very true. How hard is it for the average 63 year old to find a job if they are let go? Do we want to live in a country where people in their 60s have 5 or 10 years of no coverage? How could a working class person afford health care premiums in their 60s? Its astronomical.

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