MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday he’ll oppose any effort to raise the age when people become eligible for Medicare health insurance coverage.
Republicans in Congress have proposed raising the age when retirees are eligible for Medicare from 65 to 67. They also want to reduce cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients.
Sanders held a news conference to outline his opposition to those changes, which are being discussed as part of negotiations in Washington to head off a series of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect next month.
The left-leaning independent took aim at a series of changes to cost-of-living increases that he said would hurt both seniors and disabled veterans, known as “chain CPI.”
If the changes are enacted, “What that would mean for seniors who are 65 today is that by the time they are 75 … they would get $560 a year less than they would get otherwise,” he said. “By the time they were 85, they would get $1,000 less.”
Sanders acknowledged that raising taxes on the top 2 percent of earners to Clinton-era levels, as President Barack Obama is seeking to do, would erase just about a quarter of the projected deficits in the coming years.