The Dangers of Potential Changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Social Security and Medicare, two of the most important safety nets for seniors in the U.S., are facing a dire situation. With people living longer and the Social Security trust fund quickly running out of money, it is expected to be completely depleted by 2035, at which point benefits would be cut by more than 20%. This means that individuals will need to save more money in order to maintain a steady retirement income and avoid the cuts.
The Biden Administration has promised to keep Social Security and Medicare out of budget cuts, but some Republicans have argued that changes need to be made in order to make the programs more efficient. This could mean reducing benefits or limiting eligibility, which would hurt low-income, disabled, and elderly people. Medicaid, which was created in 1965 and covers one-quarter of the U.S. population, could also be a target.
Allison Orris, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that Medicaid was a “lifeline during the pandemic” and that there is a lot of evidence that it has improved access to care and reduced medical debt, leading to better health outcomes. However, there is a fear that Republicans may try to make changes to the program in order to increase state flexibility and reduce waste.
Drew Altman, president of KFF, believes that the idea of making huge savings without affecting beneficiaries is far-fetched. He knows from experience, having overseen Medicaid for the state of New Jersey, that states can throw people off the program, cut their benefits, or reduce provider payment rates, which in most cases are already too low.
It is important to be aware of the potential changes that could be made to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and to understand their importance for the nation’s seniors. Without these programs, many would be unable to support themselves financially and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
0. “Bipartisan approach would fix Social Security | Letters to the Editor | chronicleonline.com” Citrus County Chronicle, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.chronicleonline.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/bipartisan-approach-would-fix-social-security/article_4901fffd-e15c-5049-9c3c-33067f0789db.html
1. “If Medicare And Social Security Are Off The Table, Medicaid Could Be A GOP Target” HuffPost, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/republican-medicaid-cut-debt-ceilin_n_63e6ac39e4b0063ccb262f36