Healthcare and Medicare Issues Likely to Play Minor Role in the State of the Union
January 28, 2014 04:19 PM
Last year, President Obama proposed “modest reforms” to the Medicare program, stating that any proposals will, “achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.” While President Obama dedicated a significant portion of last year’s State of the Union Address to health care issues – including reforming Medicare – such issues will likely not play prominently into this year’s speech.
Instead, the President is expected to focus on economic issues and executive actions that he can take without Congress’ authorization in the coming years to achieve his goals as president.
One such action that President Obama has already issued was an increase to the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. “You can be sure that the president fully intends to use his executive authority to use the unique powers of the office to make progress on economic opportunity, to make progress in the areas that he believes are so important to further economic growth and further job creation,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, when asked about the increase.
In response to last year’s State of the Union, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris said in response to the President’s Medicare reforms that:
“We believe home care is an answer to many of the problems facing the Medicare program. Overwhelmingly, seniors want to be at home. Caring for seniors using telehealth technology in the comfort of their own homes is the most cost effective way to reform Medicare and Medicaid by minimizing the need for hospitalization.”
Analysis of the State of the Union and how his proposals will affect the home care and hospice community will be available in future issues of NAHC Report.