St. Petersburg, Florida -- The fiscal cliff may seem like just a bunch of numbers, but behind those figures are programs that impact all kinds of families. Today, we look at senior citizens.
Senior citizens are looking at cuts across the board from Medicare to Medicaid and Social Security plus service offered under the Older Americans Act. These are cuts that many seniors say will impact their quality of life, their wallets and their health.
80-year-old Evelyn Herold stays active to keep healthy but when she needs a doctor she likes the ones she has.
"I have a lot of faith in my doctors," she says. "When you are older have to start with another one it's very hard."
But finding new doctors is what Evelyn may have to do.
The fiscal cliff calls for $11 billion in funding cuts to Medicare forcing doctors to cut patients fees by 27 percent. And some doctors say they may have to cut Medicare patients from their practice.
"And if you want to keep with your doctor, you have to pay that high fee and forget about Medicare," says Evelyn.
"It's going to be harder to get into the hospital, it's going to be harder to get the doctors it's not going to matter what your insurance card says you are entitled to," says Elderly Law Attorney Charlie Robinson.
Robinson maintains Medicare is not charity.
"I've paid out of my earnings every year to cover my Medicare. I think seniors have a right to that promise."
It's not just Medicare Robinson says the fiscal cliff overall cuts. Ninety percent of funding for senior services, such as Meals on Wheels, reportedly comes from the federal government.
According to the Leadership Council of Aging, the fiscal cliff means cutting 17 million home delivered meals, 1.9 million senior transportation rides and 2.7 million people receiving in-home help.
Robinson says as of November, without the fiscal cliff, Pinellas County has 5,783 senior citizens on a waiting list for services.
Seniors say lawmakers need to step up to do what's right and do it sooner than later.
"Get moving. Quit dragging. You can't sit argue and fight," Evelyn pleas. "You have to compromise if you are going to get along with each other."