Medicare users react to Senate deal

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By Tim McNicholas


Updated: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 06:57:07 CST

So many questions with such little time.

The debt ceiling deadline drew near Wednesday.

And seniors were left wondering about the future of their social security and Medicare benefits.

But, the Senate reached a deal.

Local seniors had a sigh of relief.

"Well it was kind of nice to hear that,” said Marjorie Young, a senior citizen and Harvard resident.

In the case of a default, the treasury was projected to cover the social security payments due this month.

That includes the 12 billion due Thursday and another payment on October 25th.

The same is true for Medicare payments.

But by November the treasury would be running low on funds.

"Well they've talked about both of them, technically, for a long time,” Young said.

And even with a bipartisan deal, they'll likely keep talking about it.

Thursday's Senate deal funds the government only until January 15th.

It also includes a December 13th deadline for budget negotiations.

"We can't neglect the people that need the services the most, which are of course the elderly and the children,” said DeAnna Tuttle of the Agency on Aging.

The deal would also end the partial government shutdown, which was a risk to the Agency on Aging.

"If the federal government doesn't pay the state government, they can't pay us, and yes then we could possibly see some of the services being cut back over the lack of funds,” Tuttle said.

Tuttle's main concern as the deadline approached?

More fluctuation in the economy.

She feared it could diminish the value of retirement accounts.

But the Agency on Aging has been told that the elderly are a top priority.

"We have been assured that social security checks and Medicare benefits are not in jeopardy at the moment,” Tuttle said.

Wednesday's Senate deal pays the United States bills until February 7th.