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September 2017

Follow the Money: Budget Negotiations Could Mean Major Changes for Medicare and Social Security

Washington Watch


If you thought the bitter partisan fight over the "repeal and replace" of President Obama's health care law was ugly, ratchet up the intensity – the next fight over Trump's budget, including sweeping changes to Medicare, is about to start, just as Congress faces a fiscal crisis. These Medicare changes would raise the eligibility age and convert the program to a voucher program affecting all 55.5 million seniors currently using the program and millions more about to become Medicare eligible.


President Donald Trump wants Congress's next move to be reforming the tax code. But lawmakers returned this fall facing two daunting deadlines. Congress must raise the debt ceiling by Sept. 29 and then they must pass a budget before the fiscal year ends the very next day, Sept. 30. Lawmakers actually have only 12 legislative days scheduled when both the House and Senate are in session before those deadlines.


Without raising the debt ceiling, the government will run out of money to pay bills it owes. Without passing a budget, the federal government would be forced to shut down as it would have no money to function.


During his campaign for president, Trump vowed repeatedly that he "wouldn't touch" Medicare or Social Security. Guess someone didn't tell House Republicans, who are moving ahead with their own agenda that targets Medicare for sweeping changes.


The 2018 budget resolution, which was approved by the House Budget Committee recently, calls for major Medicare reforms along with some changes to Social Security disability payments. Among the reforms detailed in the budget are limiting Medicare benefits for wealthy seniors and allowing more private insurers to compete for coverage. The House budget assumes Medicare will reduce spending by $487 million from 2018 to 2027.


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Hot Mama – My Experiment with Red Lipstick

Gray Matter


I’m so tired of reading articles that say senior women have to tone down their style as they age. Although it’s true that with maturity comes an end to many things you probably wish you’d stopped doing sooner – like dating useless men, eating tacos for breakfast, and wearing costume jewelry that turns your neck green. But should maturity also mean giving up on makeup?


The answer is yes, at least according to 2,000 women over the age of 45 (and really what do they know about being 65, right?) who took part in a survey on the ins and outs of aging gracefully conducted by Nurture Replenish Skincare, a UK-based personal care company. According to the results of this survey, ladies should stop wearing high heels, glitter, tight clothes, and red lipstick by the time they’re 59. (Notice the 45-year-olds didn’t clip their own wings?)


To that survey I say pfft.


As a young adult, I recall my mom telling me that less is more and to go for a natural look. The nuns of my youth spit in hankies to wipe any hint of color off our faces in junior high. And I attended an all-girl high school in the ‘60s where makeup was not allowed. So it’s not difficult to understand why I had never worn red lipstick before. But for the sake of this article, I decided to use red lipstick for one week. And by that I don’t mean just wearing it inside my house or at night at dinner in a dark restaurant, but also first thing when I get up in the morning, and when I check my mail, and even when I’m at the supermarket at noon in my jammies (but that’s another story).


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