Recent Medicaid News Roundup… Not Looking Good

3 stories from 3 of the best T&E bloggers out there recently caught my eye:

First from Michael J. Keenan and The Connecticut Elder Law Blog comes, Big Problems for Medicare in 11 Years.

It appears that the Medicare program will become unable to pay full benefits starting in 2019, and the same problem will arise for Social Security in 2041 […], according to the trustees of those programs.

He links to this article in the LA Times about the presidential candidates being silent on the impending Medicaid crisis which means that the likelihood of imminent reformation is rather slim.

Next comes Professor Berry from the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog and his post about the Trustee’s same report. He quotes the following from the Trustee’s press release issued March 26, 2008:

In their annual report, the Medicare Trustees today announced that both the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund expenditures are growing faster than the rest of the economy. The Trustees report expenditures were $432 billion in 2007, or 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and are projected to increase to nearly 11 percent of GDP in 75 years.

The Trustees report that Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund will become insolvent earlier in 2019 than reported last year. HI expenditure growth is estimated to average 7.4 percent each year over the next 10 years, a higher rate than either Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Consumer Price Index (CPI) growth. This year the HI Trust Fund will spend more than its income, and from 2009 through 2017, about $342 billion will need to be transferred from the Federal treasury to cover beneficiaries’ hospital insurance costs.***

Yikes

Finally, David Goldman writes in his Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog about Medicaid Cuts Threaten Nursing Homes in Florida.

This week both the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee and the House Healthcare Council introduced their 2008-09 budgets. The Senate reduced nursing home funding $163 million and the House reduced funding $278 million.

Florida legislators approved landmark elder-care facility reform legislation in 2001 that mandated increased minimum staffing requirements, tougher regulation and quality improvement, and risk management programs. Since then, nursing home quality has steadily improved. Now, Medicaid funding cuts threaten this progress and the vulnerable elderly who have nowhere else to go.

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