How Will The Debt Ceiling Deal Affect Seniors?

Posted on September 8, 2011 by - Debt Ceiling, Medicare Reform

Will the Debt Ceiling Affect Seniors?

This August, Congress reached a deal to increase the debt ceiling. The deal included two phases of budget cuts: first, Congress immediately cut a certain amount of spending, and second, Congress selected a “super-committee” to organize more budget cuts by November. If the “super-committee” fails to reach an agreement, automatic cuts are triggered, and many popular government programs and national defense spending will be taken away.

Seniors have an especially large stake in this second phase of the debt ceiling. Between Medicare and Social Security, millions of seniors feel the effects of politics in their everyday lives. Checks from the federal government are often a major part of essential purchases for seniors across the country. The “super-committee’s” determination of what federal programs to cut stands to affect seniors on a very deep level.

If the “super-committee” fails to reach a decision, the automatic cuts take away a good deal from seniors. The cuts include $130 to $150 billion to Medicare.

Though those numbers sound daunting, some suggest that the automatic cuts might be better than any compromise the “super-committee” comes up with. Kaiser Health News, for example, suggested that the automatic cut would be the “lesser of two evils.” That article argues that committee members might end up deciding even more cuts to Medicare are in order.

As the “super-committee’s” work progresses, it will be important for all those involved in senior care– from health providers to seniors themselves– to keep current. The way seniors access healthcare and other basic goods and services may change drastically!

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.

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