Repeal of healthcare law, raising of Medicare age among Finance panel's supercommittee suggestions

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The lawmakers’ proposals for Medicare include several areas that have found at least some bipartisan support in the past.

They proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age, which Obama previously put on the table as a companion to new revenues. And they called on the supercommittee to consider asking some seniors — particularly high-income seniors — to pay for more of their Medicare benefits. Obama’s deficit-cutting proposal also called for some increases in cost-sharing, as did the Medicare bill proposed by Sens. Tom Cobun (R-Okla.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Cuts to doctors and other healthcare providers should also be on the table, the GOP senators said, as long as they’re used to strengthen the Medicare trust fund.

Their proposals for Medicaid will likely prove more controversial. The lawmakers said the supercommittee should consider converting federal Medicaid funding into block grants to the states — an option that Medicaid advocates and some providers strongly oppose. Block grants would likely lead states to significantly cut their Medicaid rolls, and advocates worry that the sickest, most expensive patients most in need of government help would be the hardest-hit.