Democrats are reportedly debating the possibility of lowering the eligibility age for Medicare as part of their $3.5 trillion spending package currently under construction in Congress.
Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 was not included in the budget blueprint Democrats released last week, although the idea was endorsed by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in the spring of 2020. Progressive lawmakers, including Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have long supported the proposal.
Adding the age change would increase the cost of the overall spending package by about $200 billion, Axios’s Hans Nichols reports, which could force lawmakers to find new sources of revenue or cuts in other programs.
Determining the final cost will be difficult, though, until lawmakers provide additional details, including how long they plan to fund the program.