The President’s budget proposal calls for a reduction in Medicare and Medicaid spending over the next ten years of $295 billion. The President’s goal is for the savings to help pay for the cost of coming health care reform legislation. Among the targeted areas for cuts are spending on home health care and freezing reimbursement rates for skilled nursing homes.
Readers of this Blog know that we have been talking about the reality of these cuts for a long time. There is no escaping the demographic and economic realities that will force drastic measures to preserve some semblance of these critical programs for our nation’s senior population. Medicare and Medicaid represent a large percentage of the national budget and that number will escalate to unsustainable levels if left unchecked over the next ten and twenty years.
In the President’s stimulus package he increased Medicaid spending as one of the larger spending items of the bill. But that increase should not be interpreted as a sign of things to come. That was a temporary emergency measure, and as the economy stabilizes the cuts will start to emerge. Seniors and their families will need to take this reality into account as they plan for the future.
The cost of care is on the rise and the burden being placed on the individual will grow. These cuts are just the tip of the ice berg compared to what we will see in the years ahead.