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The Republicans have just scored a major victory in this last election and while it is hard to predict exactly how this will affect senior citizens, Howard Gleckman has some interesting thoughts in an article for Forbes Magazine. Typical of democrat scare tactics, Gleckman sees the Republican victory as a dangerous thing for government health programs. Meals on Wheels and a wide range of other community living programs have their budgets on the chopping blocks as the Republicans and even the Democrats look to save money.
The reality is we now have 18 Trillion in debt and of than almost 1/2 of that created under Obama in the past six years. Cuts need to be made and if a senior has a million bucks in the bank, they need to pay for their own long term care. Medicaid and government programs are designed for the truly needy, those who have below $10,000 in savings. Hard choices must be made if the debt is ever going to be tamed.
The Older Americans Act of 1965, which brought many of these services into being, has now been left by the wayside as government spending has exploded. The Great Society and War on Poverty was created nearly fifty years ago and we’ve spent over 50 trillion on trying to attack poverty and the out come has gotten worse!
Gleckman believes that the Republicans will even push for an increase in Medicaid premiums. Some Republicans even want to lump Medicaid in with Housing and Transportation, which many Democrats fear would make it easier for States to drop these services altogether in attempts to solve our physical crisis.
It is a rough time for seniors who do not have an insurance safety net to fall back on. The government seems poised to limit nursing home benefits just to the truly needly, not people trying to scam the system. The senior population is about to reach unheard of levels as the Baby Boom generation reaches their golden years.
These senior boomers will need to rely more and more on their own personal savings, and insurance as the government programs continue to erode. The space in the work force created by retiring boomers will undoubtedly lead to a smaller tax base. This will cause the government to find further spending cuts and reduced assistance for the elderly. The future is uncertain, we will just have to wait and see what the government is going to do with these programs. There is a good chance that many of them will survive until we reach old age. The question is, how effectively will they be running on their reduced budgets?
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