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Aging Tech that does caregiving tasks and improves socialization is being used by agencies, communities.
Today’s Aging Tech improves on things already familiar to older adults, seniors and elders.
Devices are going mainstream. Pilot programs in assisted living communities are thriving.
Seniors don’t want to be left behind. Care companies want to reduce costs.
Home Care Assistance Inc. is using a simple robot — an iPad on wheels — that costs 20% of a human caregiver.
Brookdale, the senior community behemoth, is aggressively testing caregiver and aging technology.
Virtual reality can provide elusive enriching experiences. Elders can travel to the new places, walk new streets. Or they can visit childhood towns through VR headsets. For some dementia patients, this is a dream come true.
Baby boomers are the next generation of elderly, and they will use this and other Aging Tech devices.
This week, Aging Tech was widely reported:
Growing Elderly Population Creates New Opportunities for Technology, Wall Street Journal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
For businesses reimbursed by Medicare, or whose customers get Social Security income:
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Social Security and Medicare are Mandatory spending programs, for today.
Currently, Social Security and Medicare do not go through Congress’s appropriations process.
They are paid as the bills come in. The US Treasury must pay what is owed. They are mandatory programs.
Mandatory versus Discretionary.
Other programs are discretionary. Their spending is decided by each Congress, after elections, and every year.
Examples of discretionary programs are NASA, the Dept. of Education, the EPA.
Social Security and Medicare budgets are not subject to the whims of every 4-year Congress. The programs are stable and predictable.
When shifted to Discretionary, cuts are made more easily, with less political blowback.
If Social Security and Medicare are shifted from Mandatory to Discretionary budget items, they are easier for politicians to cut.
Congress can cut the programs and say, “hey, not my fault, it’s the budget process. I didn’t do it.” Like the dog who ate the homework.
Congress will not have to account for voter anger in their home districts.
We blinked blink on 1/13/17. It’s happening.
Congress just laid the foundation for this shift, from Mandatory to Discretionary, while everyone was focused on the ethics committee disagreements.
New rules require the relevant committees to make “recommendations for changes to existing law for moving [unspecified} programs…from mandatory funding to discretionary appropriations, where appropriate.”
The language is intentionally vague.
Social Security and Medicare are popular programs.
They can only be cut if Congress is held blameless. With this rule change, the blame will fall to “the budget process.”
Now, Congress can easily shift Social Security and Medicare into the Discretionary budget, claim a crisis, and cut benefits.
The legislative agenda for the current Congress is to claim both are in “crisis,” and illustrate that pensions and health care are tasks that government does much better then the private sector.
Further reading in Wikipedia “Mandatory and Discretionary Spending,” Article by Nancy Altman of Social Security Works. Note: We are trying to find official documents to source the language cited above and will add links here when updated. Legislation of the 1115th Congress on Congress.gov.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Letter of the week.
A company serving the sandwich generation wrote us this lovely note:
“Your work has value as we message the market. You gave us clear messaging and great images.
“Your work was worth every penny. Much appreciation and respect.”
???? The feeling is mutual, thank you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]