Tennessee Senator Bob Corker says he’s ready for wealthy Americans to pay for their own Medicare premiums in order to help reduce the federal budget deficit.
“You have people like me and others that have had some good fortune in life.”
The idea has been called “means testing.” Medicare faces insolvency in 2024, according to the program’s trustees. Corker says making the country’s top earners pay more while they’re actually receiving the health benefits won’t fix Medicare entirely.
“But it’s a contributor towards helping solve the problem that people in upper income categories pay a greater share of the Medicare burden themselves.”
Corker says he expects some kind of means testing will be part of any deal struck to raise the debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner has indicated support for making the wealthy pay their premiums. Some Democrats agree, though others fear it makes Medicare look more like a welfare program and an easier target for future cuts.