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Bush Proposes Overhaul To Social Security & Medicare

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is looking to make significant changes to Social Security and Medicare just ahead of his party's third Republican primary debate in Colorado.

According to the Associated Press, Bush outlined his plan Tuesday, proposing to raise the retirement age, reduce benefits for early retirees and increase benefits for those who work passed the age of retirement.

Current retirement age is 66. Bush wants to gradually raise this age over time, starting in the year 2022 when the retirement age officially jumps to 67, and adding one month each year to that number until the age becomes 69 in 2046.

To encourage those close to retiring to continue working, he would lift the $15,720 limit on income for working seniors already receiving Social Security and eliminate the 6.2 percent payroll tax for those working beyond 67.

Other changes include lowering monthly retirement checks to wealthier recipients and getting rid of the 10 percent limit employers can withhold for 401(k) plans.

Bush also outlined a "Medicare premium support" program which would give seniors a fixed amount of money to pay for "guaranteed coverage options" through traditional Medicare or private health plans.

The plan would also increase "means-testing" to calculate premiums, basing them on the average price of private plans. Bush predicts this would lower premium costs by about 6 percent a year.

About 55 million people receive Medicare and nearly 60 million people receive Social Security benefits. As baby boomers reach retirement age, those numbers are expected to continue to rise.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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