"The AARP's 40 million members are split about evenly between those who have access to Medicare, the federal government’s health program for the elderly, and those who are too young to be eligible for such benefits. The younger members, or those between the ages of 50 and 64, sometimes face terrible choices in the private insurance market, with age and declining health status making premiums high and benefits poor. But members 65 and older get among the most secure medical benefits in the country, and many are in no mood to share.
"This divide mirrors a larger generational debate. Proposals on Capitol Hill to expand health care coverage largely rest on forcing younger and healthier people to get insurance, expanding the money available to subsidize care for others. But the proposals also count on about $400 billion in savings over 10 years in the Medicare program. In effect, the young and the old are being asked to sacrifice for the middle-aged."