Medicare concessions possible, Obama says
President Barack Obama
President Obama touched on several issues that matter to long-term care operators during last month's State of the Union address. His most urgent message to lawmakers: Do not not allow sequestration cuts to kick in. Otherwise, providers will feel the pinch of an automatic 2% Medicare funding cut.
Two days after saying he would not support raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, he offered concessions in other areas. Notably, Obama said he may be willing to trim Medicare spending to align with reductions sought by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission in 2010.
The president also wants a minimum wage increase, noting that full-time low-income workers should not have to live below the federal poverty line.
Provider groups gave the speech polite support. They also expressed interest in helping the White House deal with challenges facing long-term care.