By now, most of you are undoubtedly aware that Congress struck a deal on New Year’s Day that prevented the United States from going over the dreaded “fiscal cliff.”  Had the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 not been passed, experts predict that the resulting tax increases and government spending cuts would have plunged the nation into a deep recession.

 

Now that the dust has settled somewhat, here are a few key points from the deal that may be of interest for the Cedar Lake family:

  • Income taxes for individuals earning less than $400,000 ($450,000 for a couple) remained the same instead of reverting to higher rates due to expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
  • A 2-year old cut to payroll taxes was not extended.  All of us will see a 2% increase in our payroll taxes (4.2% to 6.2%), which will decrease take-home pay.
  • What was NOT addressed was reduction of the federal deficit; this issue was delayed for two months.  How does this impact Cedar Lake?  There are some in Congress who feel that in order to responsibly deal with this issue, cuts to entitlement spending (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) must be on the table for discussion.

 

So, in other words, there will be plenty of sharp debate between now and late February, with proponents on both sides of the aisle.  We will be very closely monitoring these debates as they pertain to Medicaid, and if talks start to lean toward actions that might pose a threat to Medicaid, we may ask for your help in fighting for the funding stream that provides the vast majority of our resources.  Bottom line, Medicaid is what allows us to provide services and supports to the people we serve….and we must fight for that!