Boehner: Raising Medicare age can wait until next year

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Republicans have insisted that increases in tax rates must be accompanied by cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare. But Boehner's most recent proposal calls for higher rates on taxpayers making more than $1 million per year, and he said Tuesday that raising the Medicare age can wait for a broader package of tax and entitlement reform next year.

"There are a lot of issues on the table. That issue has been on the table, off the table, back on the table," Boehner said. "It’s an issue for discussion, but I don’t believe it’s an issue that has to be dealt with between now and the end of the year. It is an issue, I think, if Congress were to do entitlement reform next year and tax reform, as we envision if there’s an agreement, that issue will certainly be open to debate in that context."

Liberals have pushed back against talk of raising the eligibility age, saying it would shift costs onto seniors. But they've also indicated some flexibility on Medicare, arguing that Medicaid might be a higher priority.

Gradually raising the eligibility age to 67 would save the government roughly $113 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

— Russell Berman contributed.



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