12/20/2012 05:20 pm ET

Senator Jeff Merkley On Raising Medicare Age: "It's A Virtual Death Sentence"

As the fiscal cliff negotiations continue, different budget proposals have been floated, including raising the age of Medicare eligibility. Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon spoke to HuffPost Live's Abby Huntsmen about the devastation that change would bring.

"People come to my town halls who are in their early 60s, and they are saying 'I don't have health care, and I am just trying to stay alive until I get to age 65 and I get medical assistance,'" he said. "So for those folks, it's a virtual death sentence."

Moving in the opposite direction should be on the table, the senator continued.

"If anything, we should be lowering the age of Medicare," he said.

Watch the full segment at HuffPost Live.