In a report released this past Saturday, the government agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid detailed the possible impact of cuts proposed in healthcare reform passed by the House of Representatives. The study states that the proposed $500 billion in cuts would be so severe that hospitals and nursing homes would be forced to stop accepting Medicare as payment.
The report says that seniors would suffer form additional reductions in benefits and services to pay for the $500 billion in reduced spending. The White House answered back against the report’s findings by saying the reductions would come in the form of reduced wasted spending on fraud and abuse in the system and from administrative savings through such efficiencies as expanded use of electronic medical records. Democrats also contend that these cuts would extend the life of Medicare a number of years before becoming insolvent.
As is often the case, both sides are focusing on the aspects of this study that bolster their position in the debate. But regardless of who is right, one truth is clear—seniors need to be preparing themselves for less and less financial support coming from the government. The burden to cover the costs of senior housing and long term care will continue to be pushed back on seniors and their families and people should do all they can to prepare for the inevitable.
The U.S. Senate begins debating healthcare reform legislation today. Critical to the proceedings will be Medicare cuts and its impact on seniors across the country. Click here to read more about how the votes are lining up.
Senate Democrats were able to hold a filibuster proof 60 vote majority to introduce the Senate verison of heathcare reform legislation for debate and a final vote. Action on this legislation will begin after the Thanksgiving recess. Click here to read more about how today’s proceedings unfolded.