Posts Tagged ‘ Seniors ’

House GOP Leaders Target $1 Trillion Medicaid Cut

House GOP Leaders Target $1 Trillion Medicaid Cut

Thursday, 31 Mar 2011 03:02 PM

By Greg Brown

House GOP leaders reportedly seek $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The savings could come over 10 years and the plan appears in a draft of the Republican fiscal 2012 budget, reports Politico.com, citing GOP sources.

It’s less clear how to the savings would be extracted, but Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., — the man behind the budget plan — has previously suggested that the federal government end hundreds of billions in state grants and instead give recipients $11,000 to buy private coverage.

Paul Ryan (AP Photo) Ryan told Politico in February that Medicaid and Medicare were in his sights for cuts.

On Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a news release that included press quotes from Democrats favoring changes to Medicaid, including from Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The quotes were dated from a time when both Warner and Sebelius were state governors.

Any changes enacted in an eventual budget would be a huge shift for Medicaid. As it is now, the federal program covers a percentage of the states’ cost for providing healthcare insurance for the poor. If costs rise, a percentage calculation means rising costs for both the states and for the U.S. Treasury.

Under a cap plan, the amount of money provided would be fixed, although details are not yet clear. In any case, a shift away from a percentage model implies less money from the government to pay for future healthcare, thus the savings.

All of this is happening against a do-or-die struggle on the Hill to come to agreement on budget cuts or simply let the government shut down, an outcome some on Wall Street think would be the moral equivalent of a default on U.S. debt.

At some point between Tax Day, April 15, and the end of May, the United States is likely to hit its $14.29 trillion debt ceiling, a self-imposed spending limit that Congress must vote to raise.

“If the United States actually defaults on our debt it would be catastrophic,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said while speaking Wednesday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warning that “all short-term financing would disappear” for U.S. companies, insurers, and for investors.

Meanwhile, the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, Pacific Investment Management Co., now says that U.S. Treasurys “have little value” due to the country’s $75 trillion in unrecorded debt, five times the size of entire economy.

Bill Gross, in a monthly note to investors, said the figure includes bonds plus U.S. obligations for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Without reform of these programs soon, Gross warned, expect inflation, devaluation of the dollar, and low or negative real interest rates.

Congress “must make ‘debt’ a four-letter word,” Gross wrote.

via House GOP Leaders Target $1 Trillion Medicaid Cut.

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Republicans Appear Poised To Take On Entitlements


Has it occurred to Mr. West that many of the people supporting him are Seniors, probably not? Florida – home of the largest retirement community and Mr. West are about to bump heads!

This should be a fun thing to watch because it is about to engulf the #GOP and create some hassles for them in 2012 – keep pushing guys for all those cuts to programs that have nothing to do with why we have a deficit!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

HHS says three million seniors to benefit from healthcare law – The Hills Healthwatch

HHS says three million seniors to benefit from healthcare law

By Jason Millman – 01/21/11 08:50 AM ET

Three million seniors in the so-called “doughnut hole” have already received discounted prescription drugs through a highly touted provision of the healthcare reform law, President Obama’s health department announced Friday morning.

According to the Friday morning announcement, three million Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 received a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check for costs in the doughnut hole. 

“For too long, many seniors and people with disabilities have been forced to make impossible choices between paying for needed prescription medication and necessities like food and rent,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act offers long overdue relief by lowering prescription drug costs each year until the [doughnut] hole is closed.”

The announcement comes days after the House, now under Republican control, voted to repeal the new law.

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) this week said seniors would not have to re-pay the $250 check if the repeal bill became law, which is highly unlikely as long as the Senate is in control of Democrats and President Obama is in the White House.

Democrats, in their staunch defense of the reform law, have been emphasizing its numerous consumer protections – especially the doughnut hole provision that gradually reduces the amount of out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug bills.  

Starting in 2011, seniors in the doughtnut hole coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs. Under healthcare reform, the discount will gradually increase to 75 percent by 2020.

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How is the GOP going to explain this once their senior citizens find out that life is better with ‘ObamaCare?HHS says three million seniors to benefit from healthcare law – The Hills Healthwatch.

House GOP to resume health-care repeal effort, but with more civil tone

Shailagh Murray and Paul KaneWashington Post Staff Writers Friday, January 14, 2011; 12:00 AM

House Republican leaders said Thursday that they will begin their effort to repeal the new health-care law next week, a return to normal legislative business after the shootings in Arizona suspended activity on Capitol Hill.  More…

The latest components of the Health-Care law to take effect favor seniors!

The Health-Care Provisions Taking Effect on January 1, 2011

Seniors to See Improved Health-Care Benefits in 2011

These new and improved benefits for Seniors should remove any doubt that a repeal of the Health-Care Bill would be detrimental to the health of Seniors everywhere.

Doctors say Medicare cuts force painful decision about elderly patients

As was expected, Medicare will inevitably see cuts to benefits. Stop-gap measures have been in effect for some time and are expected to go into effect on the first of January, 2011. These cuts were planned in 1997, long before most of us reached the age of 62!

The best thing for Seniors to do is conference with their doctor and agree to supplement Medicare’s payment.  If your doctor is agreeable to this stipulation, for you, things should remain stable.

“… a long-postponed rate-setting method that is on track to slash Medicare’s payment rates to doctors by 23 percent Dec. 1. Known as the Sustainable Growth Rate and adopted by Congress in 1997, it was intended to keep Medicare spending on doctors in line with the economy’s overall growth rate. But after the SGR formula led to a 4.8 percent cut in doctors’ pay rates in 2002, Congress has chosen to put off the ever steeper cuts called for by the formula ever since.

This month, the Senate passed its fourth stopgap fix this year – a one-month postponement that expires Jan. 1. The House is likely to follow suit when it reconvenes next week, and physicians have already been running print ads, passing out fliers to patients and flooding Capitol Hill with phone calls to convince Congress to suspend the 25 percent rate cut that the SGR method will require next year.” More