With people living for longer, having fewer children, and the government using Medicare and social security money for other things, our systems for helping the retired are doomed to fail. Soon, people will be retiring at age 65 to find that the money that government's taken away isn't there any more. The only real solution to the problem would be to raise the retirement age and the age of eligibility age for these services. Doing this will reduce the number of people who receive benefits, saving money for those who will live until the new eligibility age and reduce the amount that those who do draw benefits will receive over their lifetime. This will also not give people the false idea that they can retire young and rely on a fundamentally flawed system to provide for them when it simply cannot.
When Social Security and Medicare were first implemented, the average lifespan in America was 69 years old. People who used these benefits died shortly thereafter. Now, people live an average of five years longer in the United States (72 for men, 78 for women). The eligibility age for Medicare should be raised to 68 or 70 because people are healthier for longer. By the same token, the retirement age should also be raised because people work longer.
The most common eligibility age for Medicare is 65 years of age. This may differ for different people and those in special circumstances, such as those on disability. I do not believe the Medicare eligibility age should be raised because people have paid into Medicare via their pay checks under the guise that they would receive the benefits later on. Upping the age means that more people will lose those benefits, yet pay in, because they die prior to reaching the eligibility age.