You might not know it from all the political theater going on this week, but there are actually six ideas for entitlement reform that enjoy bipartisan support and could probably get enacted if President Obama decided to get behind them. J.D. Foster and Alison Fraser review those ideas in a new paper for The Heritage Foundation. They are: (1) Raise the Social Security eligibility age to match increases in longevity; (2) use a more accurate measure of inflation to reduce Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment; (3) raise the Medicare eligibility age to put it in line with that of Social Security; (4) reduce the Medicare subsidy for upper-income beneficiaries; (5) phase out Social Security benefits for upper-income retirees; and (6) consolidate Medicare’s elements and collect a single higher premium.
“These proposals,” explain Foster and Fraser, “will not resolve either program’s key structural flaws—they constitute a start of the reform journey, not the conclusion—but they would be a powerful start that would markedly alter the nation’s fiscal trajectory.” [The Heritage Foundation, November 30]