Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) Sen. Mike Lee wants to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance that covers members of Congress and federal employees.
Lee: Phase out Medicare with same insurance as senators get

Health care » The proposal would also increase the Medicare-eligibility age.

First Published Mar 15 2012 02:07 pm • Last Updated Mar 15 2012 11:45 pm

Washington • Sen. Mike Lee is among a group of conservative senators who want to phase out Medicare and shift seniors into the health program that covers Congress and all federal employees.

Lee, R-Utah, announced his support for the bill drafted by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., during a press conference Thursday that also featured South Carolina Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Their proposal would allow seniors to pick from the expansive menu of insurance options now offered to all public employees by private companies, with the government picking up a share of the cost depending on how much money the person makes.

The bill would also gradually increase the Medicare-eligibility age, which is now 65, by three months a year until it reaches 70.

"It is moving a system that is troubled and that faces really difficult times ahead and puts it on a path toward some sort of sustainability," said Lee.

Paul estimated his legislation would save $1 trillion in a decade.

Changes to the financially troubled Medicare system have proven to be not only politically difficult but also easy for the parties to use as a weapon in election years. For example, Republicans used fears about the new health reform law’s impact on Medicare in the 2010 election cycle and Democrats repeatedly ripped a House Republican plan that would privatize Medicare last year.

House Democrats sent an email to reporters criticizing Paul’s plan on Thursday that said: "Seniors want the Medicare program they know and rely upon to be strengthened and protected — not dismantled."

DeMint predicted the Democratic response and said the group took steps to minimize such complaints by linking it to the insurance members of Congress now receive.

"I’m sure our Democrat friends will distort what they in fact have suggested — including Barack Obama — that we need to give seniors what we give congressmen," DeMint said.

story continues below
story continues below


Twitter: @mattcanham

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.