Our government is looking for ways to cut spending and one idea is to raise the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. With the large group of Baby Boomers in our country, this would be a large sum of money. How will this impact nurses in a RN to BSN bridge program?
On Bloomber.com, Drew Armstrong writes that “The Washington-based Healthcare Leadership Council included the recommendation in four proposals it said would save $410 billion in a decade, along with having private health plans to cover additional Medicare recipients and make people earning more than $150,000 pay for the full cost of the program’s premium.
“Medicare, the U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled, currently covers 47 million people and spends $519 billion a year, according to the Menlo Park, California-basedKasier Family Foundation.
“The program is a prime target for the debt panel, which is made up of six lawmakers from each party. Unless members reach a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from government spending, a mechanism will automatically trim 2 percent, or $123 billion, from the $6.1 trillion the U.S. is projected to spend on Medicare in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office,” Armstrong states.
Okay, so those numbers are so large I can’t even begin to comprehend the enormity of it. To further my limited capacity to digest those amounts, I went on an internet scavenger hunt to solidify these calculations. I found www.usdebtclock.org to completely confuse my jumbled understanding and to make my jaw drop to my knees. (Seriously, check this site out. It’s an accountant’s brain on caffeine high.)
Many hospitals are for this increase in age eligibility and have recommended increasing the age by two month increments until it reaches 67. What about those who are 65 who already are using Medicare’s services? “People who would have been covered by Medicare would have to buy policies through new marketplaces called insurance exchanges created by the 2010 health law,” explains Armstrong.
So how will this affect those with an online BSN degree? I think the decrease in costs would ease a bit of the budget crunch many hospitals are feeling therefore postponing layoffs or increasing nurse to patient ratios. I must admit that I am also about 30 years from needing Medicare and that vastly influences my opinion. However, I also acknowledge that our country needs some serious overhauling to reduce our national debt and our financial crisis.
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