San Francisco Chronicle / Bloomberg, September 15, 2011

The congressional panel negotiating a deficit reduction package should raise the age when people become eligible for Medicare to 67 from 65, a group representing health-care chief executives said. The Healthcare Leadership Council included the recommendation in a set of four proposals it said would save $410 billion in a decade. The Washington-based group represents Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. the two largest U.S. drugmakers by revenue. The group also called for private health plans to cover more Medicare recipients and make people earning more than $150,000 pay for the full cost of Medicare premiums. "This supercommittee process is a unique opportunity to do more than simply chop away at budgets," Mary Grealy, the group's president, said in a statement, referring to the 12- member congressional debt panel.

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