Hope I get old before I get sick
So Joe Lieberman is proposing that we raise the Medicare eligibility age. That’s a truly cruel idea; as it happens, I know several people who are hanging on, postponing needed medical care, hoping that they can make it to 65 before something terrible happens. And if I know such people in my fairly sheltered social circles, just imagine how widespread such stories must be.
There are a ton of people like that and with this job market there are likely to be a whole lot more to come. If you lose your job, you lose your insurance and if you lose your insurance over the age of 55 it's very expensive to buy it. Now, the new health care plan will eventually end things like denial for pre-existing conditions and rescission, but it's not going to help with those expensive premiums for quite some time (if ever.) And people over 55 tend to start having some health problems which make those premiums more expensive.
Like Krugman I know quite a few who are hanging on for dear life and just hoping against hope that whatever's wrong with them doesn't kill them before they get a new job or qualify for Medicare. Raising the age makes no sense at all. In this economy with the system in flux it should be lowered to age 55 --- a position, by the way, that Joe Lieberman used to have (until he agreed that sticking it to the hippies in the health care debate was more important):