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How Federal Senior Programs May Be Affected by New Budget

By June 3, 2017 No Comments

How Federal Senior Programs May Be Affected by New Budget

The political climate has changed dramatically since the election of Donald Trump, to put it mildly. It’s not always easy to figure out what the president is planning to do and how well he is working with his Republican colleagues in Congress. However, proposed budget cuts may dramatically affect several important Federal senior programs.

Cuts to the Meals on Wheels program made headlines a few weeks ago. The program is part of the Older Americans Act of 1965. The aim of the act is to improve the lives of senior citizens.

Medicaid is an important federal program that helps 4.6 million low-income seniors get health care. The new budget aims to shift responsibility for the program to states and away from the federal government. This could be a big problem for the program, as states paid just 37% of the costs of the program in 2015. States might begin to charge premiums or copays, which are almost unheard of in the current program.

The Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) has several provisions for seniors. The Medicare expansion means that millions of seniors now have coverage, while the expansion of Medicare Part D helps many afford their prescriptions. Both President Trump and the Congressional Republicans have said they want to repeal the ACA. After the proposed plan by House Speaker Ryan was withdrawn in March, we haven’t heard much about what future plans might be.

Learn How Budget Cuts Might Affect the Programs You Depend On

Social Security is one of the federal senior programs with major questions hanging over it. While Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail that he didn’t want to cut it, he appointed Michael Korbey to the Social Security transition team. Mr. Korbey has been advocating privatizing and cutting Social Security for many years. Many Republicans are for that change.

Finally, there are the proposed changes to estate taxes. Republicans have wanted for years to repeal the provision, which taxes inheritances of more than $5.45 million for individuals or $10.9 million for couples. Mr. Trump has also promised to get rid of the tax, which means it’s quite likely to be eliminated.

It’s important for seniors to stay engaged and aware of the political changes in our country. For help with planning your retirement or estate planning, call our office! We’d be honored to help you navigate these complex questions.