New Year’s Predictions – Elders look out!

New Years predictions are always popular around the first of the year. It’s a game we like to play: make a prediction and see how wrong we turn out to be! After the presidential election we can make one prediction with certainty: anybody claims to knows what will happen will be proven wrong.

However.

There are clear signs of what is coming and what that means for elders. The old saying “There is nothing new under the sun” applies here.  President (elect at this time) Trump promises to get the American economy booming again. His proposals have been heard, and implemented, many times before.  He promises to cut taxes on business and cut regulations.  These things have predictable consequences for elders who rely not on jobs, but on government programs.  There will be less money for programs and more costs imposed on program users.

My predictions then are: Medicare recipients will see higher premiums for Medicare B and higher monthly premiums on prescription plans. Recipients will pay more in copays and deductibles.  Medicaid will see more government, both federal and state, regulation resulting in families keeping less property.  Asset sheltering options will become harder to get.  Medicaid estate recovery after the death of the Medicaid recipient will get more aggressive.  More family homes will be lost to the government.  In the tax area elders may see less tax deductions and credits.  Just last year in Michigan many elders lost their valuable homestead property tax credit.  In short I am predicting there will be winners and losers.  Elders will fall into the losers camp.

None of the above has to come true.  If elders and their families are vigilant, if they stay in contact with their senators and representatives these things will not come true.  And even if they do in spite of our advocacy then we’ll throw the bums out in the next election!

A final note.  Don’t misunderstand what I mean elder advocacy.  In times of need, elders know what shared sacrifice means.  Just ask the “Greatest Generation” about sacrificing. But I don’t see the need for elders to sacrifice.  After all when it comes to tax cuts for businesses and for the millionaire and billionaire business owners/CEOs, there will be no sacrifice. Just big tax cuts.

Be vigilant, informed and “make a lot of noise”!

 

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