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Life Health > Long-Term Care Planning

Obama's budget confronts boomer issues

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President Obama’s projected $3.6 trillion budget outlined Thursday looks to decrease the nation’s deficit by 2013 – right around the time waves of boomers will begin drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits. What could this budget mean for boomers?

Social Security:

  • Proposes $11.6 billion for SSA, an increase of $1.1 billion, or 10 percent, above the 2009 likely enacted level of $10.5 billion. This amount includes resources to ensure increased staffing in 2010 and will allow SSA to increase the level of work processed in key service delivery areas
  • Provides $759 million for SSA program integrity that will reverse a decline in these activities.
  • Proposes to restructure the Federal wage reporting process to increase the frequency with which wages are reported to SSA. Currently, wages are reported to the Federal Government once a year

Health Care:

  • Establishes a reserve fund of more than $630 billion over 10 years to finance fundamental reform of our health care system that will bring down costs and expand coverage.
  • Proposes to dedicate additional resources that will initially be targeted to improving oversight and program integrity activities for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D), Medicare Advantage, and the Medicaid Program.
  • Strengthens the Medicare program by encouraging high quality and efficient care, and reducing excessive Medicare payments.
  • Medicaid is a meanstested health care entitlement program financed by States and the Federal Government. On average, the Federal Government pays 57 percent of Medicaid costs. The recovery Act protects health care coverage for millions of Americans during the recession by temporarily increasing federal Medicaid funding to help states facing budget shortfalls maintain their current programs.

“We cannot lose sight of the long-run challenges that our country faces and that threaten our economic health–specifically, the trillions of dollars of debt that we inherited, the rising costs of health care, and the growing obligations of Social Security,” Obama prefaced in his budget summary.

Obama directly cited past “profound irresponsibility” on the part of the government oversight, lenders and Wall Street executives. “For decades, too many on Wall Street threw caution to the wind, chased profits with blind optimism and little regard for serious risks–and with even less regard for the public good. Lenders made loans without concern for whether borrowers could repay them,” he said. “For years, a lack of transparency created a situation in which serious economic dangers were visible to all too few.”

Reaction from Senate Budget Committee:
If President Obama’s projected deficit comes in as promised by 2013, it will bring the nation to around the amount as seen in the beginning of 2008, according to the Senate Budget Committee. The Committee insists that by following the president’s budget, by 2013 the nation will still be facing the same daunting long-term crisis.
“Unfortunately, this budget plan is once again a missed opportunity for American taxpayers – it raises taxes on all Americans, implements massive new spending, and fails to make any tough choices to control the deficit and long-term fiscal crisis posed by the huge entitlement programs.”

Reaction from House Budget Committee:
“President Obama’s budget slices the deficit by more than half, to $533 billion, in four years, but it is not so committed to deficit reduction that it overrides other compelling needs. It takes on topics that earlier budgets have found too tough to tackle…More detail and study is needed before we can write a budget resolution, and it’s important to note that some of the President’s initiatives must be implemented via deficit-neutral reserve funds. This is just the beginning, but a bold beginning for the 2010 budget process.”


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