Washington, DC (May 4, 2017) – Today, the House of Representatives voted to take away healthcare from millions of Americans to give tax cuts to the wealthy, with seniors being hit the hardest.
Statement by Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging
“The bill threatens the very heart of the Medicaid program, taking away the guarantee that Medicaid will be there when seniors need it most. By slashing Medicaid funding by over $800 billion, the AHCA will place tremendous strain on state budgets. States will be forced to cut services, restrict eligibility, and reduce benefits for seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income adults.”
“Congress is forcing families to pay more out of pocket when grandparents and other loved ones need nursing home care or home care. Two-thirds of all Medicaid spending for older adults pays for long-term services and supports. The AHCA puts this vital care for seniors in jeopardy.”
1. The AHCA Guts Medicaid: The AHCA would drastically change Medicaid and harm older adults by cutting over $800 billion in federal funding, eliminating Medicaid expansion for adults ages 55 – 64, and weakening beneficiary protections. Under the AHCA, older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid would have fewer benefits and services, reduced access to home and community-based services, and receive less help paying for Medicare premiums or cost-sharing. States would be forced to make other cuts to Medicaid and other safety net programs as they will not have adequate funding to meet the needs of their aging populations. Read More
Below is a statement opposing the amended version of the American Health Care Act from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:
“The new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is even worse than the previous one for the older adults in our communities. The new version of the bill includes all of the devastating cuts of the old version, and also further weakens important protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
“Eight in ten older adults ages 55-64 have pre-existing conditions. The MacArthur amendment would allow insurance companies to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions by charging them sharply higher premiums, taking us back to pre-ACA days when these older adults couldn’t visit a doctor because they couldn’t afford to purchase insurance.”
Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more older adults get health insurance coverage and receive the supports they need to remain in their homes as they age. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican “repeal and replace” bill, would take away health insurance for 24 million Americans and cut Medicaid funding by 25 percent over the next ten years.
The bill poses many dangers for older adults today and in the future, as it would:
- Raise the costs of insurance and health care
- Put pressure on state budgets
- Lead to cuts in services
- Undermine the financial stability of Medicare
Medicaid provides essential care for women throughout their lives—from family planning and maternal health services to nursing home care. However, yesterday, on International Women’s Day, committees in Congress were busy marking up a GOP ACA replacement bill that will fundamentally change the way Medicaid is funded, making it harder for both older and younger women to be able to pay for health insurance, visit their doctors, and receive long-term care.
These changes to our health care system will make care unaffordable and inaccessible for many, but women will be disproportionately impacted. We laid it out in this new fact sheet, Medicaid Caps and Cuts Harm Older Women, produced in partnership with our friends at the National Partnership for Women & Families. Read and share this fact sheet with other advocates, lawmakers, and others.
Washington, DC (March 8, 2017) – This statement is from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director at Justice in Aging, on the American Health Care Act:
“Republican lawmakers in the House have drafted an ACA replacement bill, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), that is an attack on the health and long-term care needs of older adults. This bill makes health care more expensive, targeting older adults for the deepest cuts in services and the largest increases in cost.”
“We are particularly opposed to the Medicaid cuts at the heart of this bill. The bill fundamentally changes the promise and structure of Medicaid by capping federal funding for the program at levels that, by design, will leave states without enough funds to meet the health and long-term care needs of older adults over time. Over 6 million older adults rely on Medicaid, and 2/3 of all Medicaid spending for older adults goes to essential long term care services in nursing homes and at home and in the community. AHCA threatens the care of all of these seniors and the peace of mind of their families.” Read More
Washington, DC—Today, the Medicare Rights Center, Justice in Aging, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and 97 other national organizations sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing grave concerns with proposals that would radically change Medicaid—a vital safety net that provides quality health care and services for millions of Americans, including 10 million older adults and people with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
Recent proposals put forward in Congress would completely restructure Medicaid’s finances, eligibility, and availability. Two ways of restructuring the program have risen to prominence: block grants and per-capita caps. While the precise workings of these proposals differ, both are designed to reduce federal support to state Medicaid programs. Cutting federal dollars will inevitably lead to fewer people covered, fewer services available, and higher health care costs for low-income families—putting older adults, people with disabilities, and their families at risk. Read More
One result of the 2016 elections has been increased discussion of Medicaid “cap” proposals. What would happen if federal Medicaid funding were capped, and individual states were given broad authority to re-write their Medicaid programs? How could states maintain necessary health care services with drastic cuts in federal funding? What would Medicaid block grants and per capita caps mean for the older adults you serve?
This webinar explains why the cap proposals would be harmful to the over six million older Americans who rely upon Medicaid coverage. The webinar includes advocacy strategies to retain current Medicaid protections and prevent cuts—without a doubt, the next few months are critical for all who care about health care for low-income older Americans.