Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Corporate lobbyists and their allies in Washington want to cut Medicare benefits by raising the eligibility age. This would cost seniors an additional $11.4 billion every year.

In an interview with the local press, Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley also points out that this would have a huge human cost:

“Across Oregon, at town hall after town hall, I hear stories like what we heard today — stories from seniors who are just trying to hang on to get to age 65 and access Medicare,” said Merkley.

“And now, some folks in Washington are proposing raising the Medicare age from 65 to 67 or possibly higher. This is unacceptable. This hurts our seniors. For some seniors, raising the Medicare age would be a death sentence.”

Naked Capitalism’s Matthew Stoller runs the numbers and estimates that raising the Medicare age to 67 could lead to as many as an additional 1,261 senior deaths each year even if the Affordable Care Act is implemented on time.

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