The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday September 29th

Supercommittee targets wealthy Medicare recipients

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MCT) — In the scramble to come up with a deficit-reduction deal by Thanksgiving, members of Capitol Hill’s supercommittee appear to have one group squarely in their crosshairs: high-income Medicare beneficiaries.

Some fiscal conservatives argue that the federal government shouldn’t help finance health care benefits for the rich.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has left the door open to asking wealthy seniors to pay more, and public opinion polls show support for the idea.

But some seniors advocates see attempts to pry more from upper-income seniors as risky today, and a threat to the middle class tomorrow.

“When you’re talking about seniors, the definition of wealthy seems to be a whole lot lower than when you’re talking about younger people,” said Maria Freese, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “Just because they’re retired, it doesn’t mean their expenses are much lower.”

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