We reported Tuesday on the push-back from progressives after the White House floated an idea to raise the Medicare age from 65 to 67 as part of a deal on the fiscal cliff. And now it looks like it may have had the desired effect.
Richard Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, told reporters Thursday afternoon he’s been assured by the White House that the idea is off the table.
The plan is “no longer one of the items being considered by the White House,” said Durbin, a close Obama ally.
As we noted, Durbin had been among the Obama backers pushing back against the idea, which likely be warmly received by Republicans. “When you talk about raising the Medicare eligibility age, there’s one key question: What happens to that early retiree?” he asked Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “What about that gap in coverage between their workplace and Medicare? How will they be covered?”
Critics say denying Medicare to 65- and 66-year-olds could make it harder for them to get insurance and raise costs for everyone.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.