They alway lump Medicare and Medicaid. That's done on purpose, so as not to let you know where the real problem is. There's very little problem with Medicare. The problem is Medicaid. I live in New York City. The city is going broke paying for Medicaid. In New York taxpayers pay 23 billion out of New York tax receipts and another 23 billion out of federal tax receipts for a total of 46 to 47 billion for the people on welfare who receive Medicaid. Medicare is paid for by the workers who will receive it, and in New York the total is 35 billion. Also, Medicaid is growing much faster than Medicare. California's biggest expense is Medicaid and California is also broke because they can't come up with the billions more every year to pay for it. Medicaid has also busted the budgets of many smaller states.
Any further SS cuts will trash SNH's business model. As their residents die off, there'll be no retirees who are retired workers to take their place.
SNH will have to go for new residents who didn't work, or didn't work enough to qualify for SS, and thus retired on government assistance.
Government assistance is where the growth is. The number of retired workers with a good pension is shrinking, and now the number of retired workers who will be getting a decent SS will also be shrinking.
I hear NY Rep Governor Pataki is trying to cut Medicaid one billion dollars a year, but he's a lame duck. I hear NYC is so upset that they are considering parting from NYS and seeking separate statehood.
Medicaid will never be cut, because it has become the biggest business in the U.S.. Eventually it will eat up all tax receipts. Everyone is feeding from the public Medicaid trough from government (NY earns a spread on Fed'l Medicaid receipts, schools put students on Medicaid medicine to keep them quiet, etc.) to private business (drug stores, etc.) to professionals (medical clinics, doctors, dentists, lawyers who fill out the applications, etc.). It's called Socialism. I call it bad Socialism U.S. style.
SHN will have to start feeding from the trough like everyone else.
The War on Terrorism is approaching 300 billion. That's less than the cost of welfare and even less than the cost of a small portion of welfare called Medicaid.