Gird your loins for Tuesday and Wednesday

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Lois A. Bowers
Lois A. Bowers

I think the first time I ever heard the phrase “gird your loins” was in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada,” when a character named Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci, uttered it to warn his fellow fictional staff members of the impending arrival of their boss, the demanding fashion magazine Editor-in-Chief Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep.

A quick Google search revealed that the phrase means to prepare oneself for what is to come.

And that's exactly what those working in seniors housing and care will need to do as the White House readies its proposed 2018 budget for release on Tuesday.

Axios reported that the document will recommend slashing $1.7 trillion from so-called entitlement programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance. The Washington Post said that the document will propose “massive cuts to Medicaid,” although specific numbers weren't available Sunday. Medicare and Social Security aren't expected to be affected as drastically.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition said Friday that it got a peek at the Housing and Urban Development portion of the proposed budget and described what it saw as “cruel” as well as “unconscionable and unacceptable.”

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel issued a caveat that what the organization saw might not have been the version that will be released on Tuesday, but the pages it previewed indicate a decrease in federal investments in affordable housing at HUD by nearly 17%, or $7.7 billion, compared with fiscal year 2017. The proposed budget apparently also would eliminate the national Housing Trust Fund and would cut affordable housing funding for low-income seniors and others, according to the NLIHC.

Yentel has promised that the NLIHC will work to try to ensure that the budget ultimately passed by Congress better meets the needs of seniors and others, and I know that organizations devoted to advocating on behalf of senior living providers and those they serve will be working hard to do the same.

So let's gird our loins. The big reveal is just a day away. And the Congressional Budget Office's release of a score for the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives will be right behind that, on Wednesday.

Lois A. Bowers is senior editor of McKnight's Senior Living. Follow her on Twitter at @Lois_Bowers.

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