Lieberman and Coburn propose increases to Medicare premiums, eligibility age

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A new plan to change Medicare would raise the eligibility age to 67 and boost premiums for current beneficiaries, saving the federal government an estimated $600 billion over the next decade.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed the plan, noting that Medicare premiums would increase gradually over the next five years. That would amount to a monthly increase of $15 to $20 initially. Additionally, insurance companies would be barred from selling Medigap policies and there would be $7,500 limit on out-of-pocket costs for doctor or hospital coverage.

Democrats criticized the plan, which was unveiled Tuesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it “unacceptable” and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) termed it “a bad idea,” The Washington Post reported.