My vigilant, passionate friend Steve Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, has just published an excellent blog about the changes that will be needed to safeguard Medicaid and Medicare.
Steve is a policymaker and I am a marketing person. I am going to give you the scoop using extremely broad brushstrokes. For more detail visit the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. If you believe in its mission, please contribute to it.
In a nutshell, our federal government has built up a hugh debt, which is growing every year because of annual budget deficits. State budgets are even worse off. The next big item on the budget cutting agenda is payments to Medicaid-accepting doctors, who already get paid far less than other doctors. This cannot be constructive. Medicare and Medicaid, in addition to education, corrections, transportation and infrastructure spending are also on track to be cut back, even though cutting these programs will be of great detriment to our society.
For years, some policy experts and organizations have known how to save Medicaid and Medicare for the people who genuinely need them. The solution would be easy. All that would have to be done to avert a lot of our fiscal woes and set budgets back on the right track, would be to close some glaring loopholes. No longer should large home equities, businesses and other currently exempt assets be shielded from Medicaid spend down. It’s that simple. This has not been palatable in the past. We’re hoping that the timing is finally right and that politically, things are finally hitting rock bottom enough to cause legislators to “think outside the box” and adapt these simple solutions.