In an interview with ABC yesterday, President Obama acknowledged that raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 has been “floated” as a way to cut spending as a part of a fiscal cliff deal. While he did not dismiss the idea, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke out against the idea in an op-ed for USA Today.
Ranking Member of the Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings agrees with Pelosi and explains his opposition to raising the eligibility age on Starting Point today.
“Some people have very difficult jobs…many of them are not in a position to wait until 67. They may be dead by then,” Cummings says. “A lot of people, all they have is Medicare and Social Security, that’s it.”
When pressed to explain how raising taxes on upper earners without addressing entitlements would raise enough money to address the deficit, Cummings argues that a deal that includes tax increases and raises the eligibility age is “not a fair exchange.”
“It’s hard to give up something when you don’t have anything, and that’s the point,” Cummings explains. “On the one end, people are trying to survive. On the other hand, people making millions up to this point have not been asked to pay one penny more… I think our country is better than that.”