Just because President Obama signed the debt ceiling deal into law yesterday, low-income older Americans have no reason to celebrate. Several of the cuts that were threatened for the Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs were averted in this current round of budget cuts. However, they are likely to be Congressional targets for savings under the guise that there is a major crisis facing all of them.
A strong push by some in Congress to repeal the health reform law, which has many elements that help low income older adults, is also likely. With more than 4 million older Americans living at or near poverty, now is not the time to jettison programs they need to remain healthy and economically secure. Congress needs to find a balanced approach to ensure that the country does not fail the poorest seniors now or in the future.