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
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
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.
On February 16, 2017, Republicans released their latest proposal outlining their ideas to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This proposal radically changes the Medicaid program by capping the amount states will receive in federal funding to deliver healthcare to low-income individuals. These capped proposals, either block grants or per-capita allotments, aim to catastrophically cut Medicaid and eliminate important consumer protections currently in place.
States will be forced to make difficult choices regarding what services they can deliver and what populations they will be able to serve, placing increased pressures on state budgets. Crucial programs that allow seniors to age at home rather than receiving care in institutional settings are at risk.
This latest replacement proposal does not come close to the improved coverage and affordability offered through the ACA for older adults. The plan will increase the cost of care and limit access to health care for older adults, especially low-to-middle income older adults. Specifically, the plan decreases tax credits, reintroduces high-risk pools for the most sick, and increases the availability of health savings accounts that provide little benefit for low to middle income consumers.
Justice in Aging has developed a new fact sheet showing how cuts to Medicaid through capped Medicaid funding would hurt older adults. For more detailed information on how capped funding would impact older adults, see our issue brief.
Recent months have seen increased discussion of proposals to cap federal Medicaid spending. Under these proposals, the federal government would provide limited funding through either block grants or per capita payments to states, and states would have broad discretion to set their own Medicaid standards.
A new issue brief from Justice in Aging explains how these proposals would harm older Americans. The caps would result in a dramatic reduction in federal funding for Medicaid, and these crippling cuts would be exacerbated by the loss of longstanding federal protections. Potential consequences include loss of services, cutbacks in eligibility, unaffordable health care costs, and diminished quality of care.
The issue brief provides careful analysis of both the “cap” proposals and the protections of existing Medicaid law. Many of the proposals tout the “flexibility” of giving almost complete discretion to states. As the issue brief highlights, however, consumer protections in current Medicaid law are vital to older Americans’ health and financial security.