What the Medicare “Doc Fix” Means for Seniors: Six Things To Know

The House yesterday easily approved some of the biggest changes to Medicare since Congress created the drug benefit a decade ago.  While the measure still must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama (who supports it), it represents a significant shift in the way many seniors get—and pay for—their health care. The measure, known in Washington-speak as [...]

By |2015-03-27T10:09:49-04:00March 27th, 2015|Medicare|1 Comment

New Federal Budget Freezes Most Spending for Senior Services—Again

Congress has again frozen funding for most senior services programs, from Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs to falls prevention and state health insurance assistance programs (SHIPs). This has been the trend throughout most of the Obama Administration. But it may be about to come to an end, as we near a time when federal funding for senior programs [...]

By |2014-12-17T10:00:18-05:00December 17th, 2014|Federal senior services programs|1 Comment

What the GOP’s Congressional Victory Means for Senior Services

Republican control of Congress means that senior service programs—most of which have been frozen for years—will face growing budget pressures. At the same time, the GOP also may try to give states more flexibility in the way they provide Medicaid and other benefits to the elderly and disabled. And while the GOP leadership will be under pressure from Tea Party [...]

By |2014-11-05T14:18:50-05:00November 5th, 2014|Federal senior services programs|1 Comment

What Could Congress’ Long-Term Care Commission Accomplish?

On New Year's Day, as part of the law that kept the nation from toppling over the fiscal cliff for two months, Congress quietly repealed the Community Living Assistance Services & Support (CLASS) Act, and created a new commission to recommend broad long-term care reforms that could affect financing, delivery and care workers. I was, and continue to be, very skeptical about the commission's ability to [...]

What the Super Committee’s Failure Means for Senior Health Programs

This week’s failure of the deficit super committee may have saved Medicare and Medicaid from spending reductions for now, but don’t kid yourself: These programs remain squarely in the fiscal bulls-eye. As part of last August’s deal to extend the federal debt limit, Congress agreed that if the super committee was unable to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over [...]

Six Common Sense Ways to Fix Social Security

There may be no more controversial issue for both Baby Boomers and their parents than Social Security. After AARP officials said last week the organization would be open to discussing changes in the system, I wrote the following for my TaxVox blog: Social Security has two obvious problems. While the system is not “broke,” as some insist, it will have only enough [...]

By |2011-06-22T21:36:58-04:00June 22nd, 2011|Aging, Social Security|1 Comment