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Romney would raise Medicare age

Published: Sat, February 25, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Presst


Four days before critical primary elections, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney outlined a far-reaching plan Friday to gradually delay Americans’ eligibility for Medicare as well as Social Security.

Romney said the shift, as people live longer, is needed to steer the giant benefit programs toward economic sustainability.

Speaking to the Detroit Economic Club — in cavernous Ford Field where the Detroit Lions football team plays — he also made a play for primary-election support in Michigan, which votes Tuesday along with Arizona.

Romney said previous steps to toughen government emission standards had “provided a benefit to some of the foreign automakers” at the expense of American companies. He said future changes should be worked out cooperatively between government and industry.

Campaigning in the city where he was born, Romney described himself as “a car guy” who has a Ford Mustang and a Chevy pickup and whose wife, Ann, drives “a couple of Cadillacs.” Aides said they were model year 2007 and 2010 SRX vehicles, one each registered in Massachusetts and California.

Romney said his proposals for Medicare and Social Security would begin in 2022, meaning no current or near-retirees would be affected. He also said he favors adjustments to curtail the growth of future benefits for the relatively well-to-do, so “lower-income seniors would receive the most generous benefits.” He had described his Social Security proposals previously.

The two programs provide retirement and health-care benefits to tens of millions of older Americans.

Beginning in 2022, Romney said, “We will gradually increase the Medicare-eligibility age by one month each year. In the long run, the eligibility ages for both programs will be indexed to longevity so that they increase only as fast as life expectancy.”

Under current law, the age for collecting full Social Security benefits is gradually rising from 65 to 67. Medicare is available at age 65. In both cases, the age is set in law, and Romney’s suggestion that it be tied automatically to increases in the life expectancy of Americans would mark a major change.

He spoke in the run-up to a pair of primaries that mark his latest tests as he tries to break free of Rick Santorum and his other persistent but underfunded rivals in the presidential race.

He is widely expected to win Arizona. Neither he nor his rivals are airing television ads in the state, a reliable sign that all sides view it as a closed case.

Although public and private polls in Michigan show Romney has erased much or all of an earlier deficit, he still faces a stiff challenge from Santorum in the state, where the disparity in television advertising is not as overwhelmingly in Romney’s favor has it has been elsewhere.


1youngstownsteve(84 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

he earns $50,000.00+ a DAY without working, has homes in 3 or 4 states, his wife drives A COUPLE of Cadillacs, he likes to fire people and thinks nothing of dropping $10,000.00 on a meaningless bet - so he sees no problem in raising retirement and Medicare age that will affect millions of middle class families. It is truly remarkable he has any middle class support at all.

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2Spiderlegs(161 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

This makes perfect sense. When the age for Social Security was 65, people tended to die around 65. When people cried at someone's retirement ceremony like they might never see the person again, they were quite possibly right. Social Security was never intended to be a long-term retirement plan, and we need to make the necessary adjustments. Phasing this in over time makes it fair to those already plan to retire at 65 in the near term, but keep in mind that lots of older Americans now work past 65 anyways. A bunch of thoughtless activists who want a basket of gimmes will try to smear Romney as they complain that this steals someone's retirement, which it doesn't do, but the alternative is to raise taxes. Someone has to make a tough call here, and I am glad Romney has the guts to do it, unlike most of our so-called leaders, who don't even seem to know how to balance a checkbook.

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3redeye1(5612 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

toycannon Ytownsteve is taker , not a giver, Why do i say that, its easy just read his posts he always against any one who has worked for what they got,. Ytown feels that everyone should support him in a better lifestyle and that the ones that don't are no good. He's your typical liberal..

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4AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

With life expendency getting longer it only makes sense to delay medicare and SS a little longer. Goodness it not rocket science to fiqure that out. They have to quick taking money out of SS so it will be there for the future. Also raising the SS cap higher will also make sense to put more into the system.

SS will be needed a lot more in twenty years from now since so few places offer retirement anymore. It is very hard to put 15% away when households are only making it paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunatly putting into retirement account is the first to go when things get tight.

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5anothermike(226 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

It never occurs to some of you that you could probably raise the retirement age to 90 and would still come up short of funds if you continue to eliminate taxpayers . Eliminating jobs in America on the premise that these folks will find comparible employment elsewhere is the pinnacle of stupidity. Before anyone starts preaching about "retraining", many of these jobs being shipped out are already "high tech" white collar jobs. Back in the day, folks collecting unemployment benefits and public welfare for two or three years was unheard of, actually not even available. Now, Uncle Sam doesn't have too much of an alternative except to extend benefits. Wonder why we have to keep raising the debt ceiling? That is certainly one of the problems.......

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6HSG(185 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

mitt "the stiff" could quite likely be the most short sighted, least creative political hack out there. I vaguely remember an idea he had about letting Lordstown go bankrupt, hmm, President Obama had a slightly different idea and if I'm not mistaken, it worked. No, Mitt's entire soul has been stolen, because he once had good ideas. He now feels the need to spew this crazy right wing, reactionary, fascist crap. Any thinking, feeling person is repulsed by it.

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7JoeFromHubbard(1772 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

There are some good comments here recognizing that the Medicare and Social Security programs need correction as Romney has suggested.

Like the response to governor John Kasich's attempted corrections of the out of control state employee costs, Romney's suggestions will meet with howls and screams.

This is a major flaw with such social programs and union contracts. Once in place, they are difficult to adjust as changing demographics and economics dictate without paying a high political cost.

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