Posted Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at 7:10 PM
I have a column out about the idea of raising the Medicare eligibility age, a disastrous idea that saves taxpayers only at the expense of raising overall health care spending.
The key thing to understand is that there isn't a two-way division of costs between the government and patients, it's a triangle in which health care providers are the third leg. Medicare uses its enormous purchasing power to get away with paying lower prices than private insurance companies can achieve. So for every $1 the government saves throwing someone off Medicare, it costs almost $2 for that person (or his employer, subsidy-provider, whatever) to buy the same services.