Medicare missed the swinging financial axe on Capitol Hill Sunday. Although the current debt deal agreed upon by Congress has spared the financial program for the disabled and elderly, Medicare cuts look like a future reality.
Instead of trimming dollars from Medicare recipients' checks, the legislation allows for payment cuts to hospitals, clinics and other health-care providers. When funding ceases, will the trickle down effect cause health-care providers to reduce services and special rates for the elderly and disabled living on a fixed income?
Hospital and insurance stock holders have dipped during the debt deal discussions. Part of the debt ceiling plan includes forming a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to police future spending. One of the first tasks on the group's "To Do" list is to find another $1.5 million to trim from the budget. Will Medicare survive a second round of debt deal cuts?
Raise Retirement Age?
President Obama has suggested raising the retirement age from 65 to 67, making the elderly wait longer to receive the hard-earned money they paid to the government during their working years. But, will the funds even be available as spending cuts continue?