America’s Elderly to bear the brunt of US health care budget cuts
United States, 11th April: Proposals for significant cuts in the US health care budget by Barack Obama this week will have a dampening effect on the elderly and the poor in the US.
As per the present GOP plan, the US President is expected to announce plans for reforms in Medicaid and Medicare, the two most popular US-government funded health care programs that collectively contribute towards $14.25 trillion of the nation’s debt.
Hence, in a bid to reduce long-term federal deficits, the president will reveal his plans and ask both sides for compromises, stated a senior White House adviser, David Plouffe.
Elderly, poor Americans to be worst hit---If the proposal of the Republican budget is accepted, it will be a big blow for the elderly Americans who seem to have got some respite from the high cost of prescriptions and medical insurance bills. They will find themselves in a worst state in the coming times. Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Republican Paul Ryan, W-Wis, unveiled a blueprint for the federal budget. The plan was given approval by the committee last week. The proposed changes in the Medicare cuts will not affect those aged 55 and above. However, new retirees will be provided a fixed sum for paying private insurance by the US government.
Funding to Medicaid will diminish—Government funding to the Medicaid is going to end as per the 2012 budget proposals. And the government funding to be allocated to different US states will have to be a fixed amount along with an upper limit rather than based on the needs of the individual patients.
As of now, Medicaid services are needs-based and the funding takes into consideration the amount spent by the individual state. The proposed health care reforms, if accepted, would lead to provision of a fixed lump sum to be received only once. The GOP feels such a move will result in huge savings over the years.
Severe criticism for the proposed reforms---Elimination of Medically Needy scheme might prove to be threatening for employed citizens suffering from catastrophic ailments, opponents of the US health care cuts feel. The uninsured and the working poor are covered under the Medically Needy program for getting health care and services for catastrophic ailments.