Daily Editors' Notes

This cliffhanger shows few signs of a happy ending

Share this article:
John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News

If you are hoping to learn before the Nov. 6 election whether planned federal budget cuts might be avoided, I have some advice: forget about it.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) just admitted that he and President Obama haven't addressed the looming “fiscal cliff” in more than three months.

Look, I get that the elections are a priority. But must they be the only priority? Let's not forget that as things now stand, a federal “sequestration” scheduled to kick in January 2 will automatically reduce Medicare payments by 2%. All told, the cuts to providers, the military and others are expected to surpass $100 billion.

Such consequences could be fairly severe. On Wednesday, 16 of the nation's largest financial services firms sent a letter to President Obama and Congress warning that interest rates could spike significantly unless the cliff is averted. That's not exactly a good sign for operators hoping to obtain capital any time soon.

Moreover, many economists predict that inaction could push the economy at least into a short recession.

To most observers, those would appear to be pretty big stakes. But Congress and the White House appear to be in no hurry. In fact, Obama officials say the president is prepared to veto any proposal to stop the “fiscal cliff” that does not increase tax rates on the wealthy, a red line that Republicans do not want to cross.

To most of us, this looming economic calamity seems like a pretty big deal. But the people we have elected to help us steer clear of such tragedies are focused on another priority: keeping their jobs.

On Nov. 6, you'll get a chance to let them know your thoughts about such misplaced priorities. FYI, most polling places will open around 6 a.m.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Daily Editors' Notes

Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editor's Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor on Monday and Friday; Staff Writer Tim Mullaney on Tuesday, Editor James M. Berklan on Wednesday and Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman on Thursday.

    ALL MCKNIGHT'S BLOGS

    More in Daily Editors' Notes

    Could you make money if Mom's nursing home does a good job?

    Could you make money if Mom's nursing home ...

    A man recently raised more than $51,000 ... to make potato salad. And in a similar type of online campaign, senior living investment company Mainstreet raised more than $1.6 million ...

    Finally, a Medicaid funding plan that actually makes sense

    Finally, a Medicaid funding plan that actually makes ...

    When politicians talk about Medicaid funding and nursing homes these days, an unsettling theme often emerges: the need to spend less of the former on the latter.

    What are the scouts saying about your long-term care organization?

    What are the scouts saying about your long-term ...

    There is no draft in senior living, nor really a need for one. But what if its three most dominant players were to be sized up? How might the scouts ...