You may be wondering if the struggle that is currently going on in Washington, D.C. over the decreasing the Nation’s debt will have an effect on health care in our local area. We are all watching as both sides of Congress appear to agree that taking action to raise the Federal Debt Ceiling before the August 2 deadline is imperative. We have been told that failure to raise the Debt Ceiling would push the U.S. into default on it’s existing financial obligations, which according to experts would have a catastrophic effect on our economy. The answer to the question, “will the Debt Ceiling struggle affect us locally?” is probably yes, given the fact that Medicare and Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) comprise 20% of all Federal spending.
Earlier this week a list of 27 specific health care cuts were released by a “Deficit Reduction Group” led by Vice President Joe Biden. On the list is $14 billion in savings (over 10 years) for “Reform Rural Hospital Programs (Medicare).” Very few people outside of the Deficit Reduction Group know for sure what is included in that $14 billion cut. (more…)