Although our hearts are filled with the spirit of giving during this Holiday Season, our federal government and many states will increasingly resemble the Grinch in the very near future.
Facing the same dilemma of many other states whose Medicaid funds are drying up, Maine’s new Republican governor recently called the state’s entitlement system “a runaway train” (“Medicaid Cuts Are Part of a Larger Battle in Maine,” New York Times, Dec. 24, 2011, p. A11). His proposal to reduce Maine’s Medicaid rolls by 65,000 (18%) has generated outcries from citizens throughout the state. One specific cut is room and board at assisted living centers.
So Baby Boomers who are gambling on the availability of state Medicaid funds to defray the cost of their long-term care are seeing their odds of “winning” go down and down. In view of this Scrooge-like future, the need for US citizens to engage in sensible planning for their long-term care with reasonably priced Long-term Care Insurance is becoming more and more urgent!
Now that I have your attention, I’m sorry to add another statistic that we are all familiar with – 10,000 boomers are joining the Medicare rolls every day. In a Dec. 23, 2011 story in the Washington Post titled,“Medicare Spending Growth Rising Slower but Enrollment Will Rise,” we learn that projected growth in Medicare recipients will rise from 47 million in 2010 to 88 million in 2040. And medical costs for seniors also continue to rise.
So seniors who need long-term care will be competing for increasingly scarce funds with seniors who need medical care – a very sad predicament, indeed.
The clock is ticking, America!