Raising the eligibility age for Medicare is off the table as a way to reduce the deficit, says White House spokesman Jay Carney.
When asked at a press briefing Monday if President Barack Obama would consider the idea, Carney's answer was pretty clear: "No."
"The president's made clear that we don't believe that's the right policy to take," Carney said, even though Obama had expressed openness to the idea in previous budget talks, The Hill reports.
Republicans had proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 as part of deficit reduction negotiations to avoid the sequester --$85 billion in across the board spending cuts that will kick in on March 1. Raising the age would save the federal government more than $100 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, news reports say. Some health policy experts argue that it would just shift health care costs and doesn't address expensive end of life care.
But Carney said Obama would still consider a formula for lower cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security beneficiaries, known in Washington-speak as "chained CPI," if Republicans agree to a "balanced" approach to deficit reduction that includes tax revenue. So far the GOP has insisted on a spending cuts-only approach, CBS news reports