Friday, January 28, 2011

Seniors in the Crosshairs - Medicare and Social Security

Seniors are caught up in a financial heart attack over funding for Social Security and Medicare. Reports out of Washington, released AFTER the State of the Union speech, hold daunting news for seniors dependent on SS and Medicare to get by.

As reported by NPR, the CBO has this to say about Social Security.

Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037

Based on my family history, I figure St. Peter will call me home about the time Social Security runs out of money, so maybe I am in the clear.

This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors' benefits than it collects in payroll taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. That figure nearly triples to $130 billion when the new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included.

That doesn't sound good. Wonder how our line of credit with the Chinese is holding up?

This year alone Washington is expected to spend $1.5 trillion more than they take in which means those extra dollars have to come from somewhere.

So how about Medicare?

Well Medicare is sick too.

Medicare's Chief Actuary Richard Foster (the green eye-shade guy) says Obamacrap won't live up to it's promise to save money.

Well, duh!

Foster was asked by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., for a simple true or false response on two of the main assertions made by supporters of the law: that it will bring down unsustainable medical costs and will let people keep their current health insurance if they like it.

On the costs issue, "I would say false, more so than true," Foster responded.

As for people getting to keep their coverage, "not true in all cases."

Blow me away!

Obamacrap will not reduce health care costs and if you like your plan and want to keep it, too bad.

Seems like the public is getting screwed and no one bothered to buy us a drink or bring us flowers.

And bad news for Medicare beneficiaries as well.

Costs could also increase if Medicare cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies turn out to be politically unsustainable over the years. The actuary's office has projected those cuts would eventually force about 15 percent of providers into the red. The health care law funnels savings from the Medicare cuts to provide coverage to uninsured workers and their families.

If the cuts cause Medicare providers to lose money, care to guess what happens then?

Do you suppose it will be harder to see a Medicare doctor?

Yeah, probably.

Doesn't sound good for those with Medicare Advantage plans either.

As for people getting to keep their health insurance plan, Foster's office is projecting that more than 7 million Medicare recipients in private Medicare Advantage plans will eventually have to find other coverage, cutting enrollment in the plans by about half.

Medicare Advantage plans will go poof.

We expect that to hit hard later this year (2011) when Medicare Advantage carriers send out notices of non-renewal.

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