Congress is moving very quickly, aiming to have a bill signed into law by the end of the year. Advocates’ voices are needed to stop this reckless process that jeopardizes health care for millions. Our new fact sheet outlines the threats to health care for older adults and their families in both the House and Senate bills.
Today, the House of Representatives passed a tax bill that is a full-fledged attack on the health and well-being of older Americans and their families.
As we’ve discussed, this is all part of the House Republican leadership’s two-step process. Step one is to cut taxes for the wealthy and drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Step two is to use the higher deficit to justify additional future cuts to programs we all depend on, such as Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Older American Act programs, and many others.
The inevitable program cuts that Republican leadership will push for, after they balloon the deficit, will cause lasting harm to seniors today and in the future. Further, the House bill passed today eliminates the medical expense tax deduction that provides tax relief to millions of older adults with high out-of-pocket and long-term care costs and modest incomes.
This bill overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest Americans and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. We urge the Senate to stop this reckless process and reject any bill that drives up the deficit and takes away health care from older Americans and their families.
Leadership in the House of Representatives is moving forward with its version of a tax bill that calls for enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and will drive up the deficit to the tune of $1.5 trillion.
Such a deficit will necessarily lead to cuts in programs that low-income older adults need, including Medicaid and Medicare. Justice in Aging created a short Fact Sheet: 4 Ways the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Threatens Health Care for Older Adults to outline for advocates what’s at stake for older adults with Medicare and Medicaid and how the loss of the medical expense deduction could jeopardize the financial security of older Americans with high out-of-pocket health care costs or long-term care expenses.
Many older adults who rely on Medicaid for their long-term services and supports also need transportation to medical services. Federal regulations require states to ensure eligible, qualified Medicaid beneficiaries have access to services to take them to and from providers. However, each state’s Medicaid and managed care programs may implement the regulations differently, making it difficult for older adults to get the transportation they need.
Understanding Medicaid is a key to understanding the health and long-term care delivery system for older adults. Every year, over 6 million older Americans rely on Medicaid every year to pay for necessary health services. Over two-thirds of all older adults who receive long-term care at home or in a nursing facility, participate in the Medicaid program. Read More
Below is a statement by Executive Director Kevin Prindiville of Justice in Aging
Today, the Senate took a reckless and irresponsible step towards gutting healthcare for older adults and others, and removing critical consumer protections that save lives. With Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, the Senate voted to begin a curtailed 20-hour debate on several bills that would drastically change our health care system, stripping coverage from millions of Americans and cutting over $750 billion from Medicaid. Any bill that emerges from such a chaotic process would have devastating effects on older Americans and their families.
Below is a statement by Executive Director Kevin Prindiville on the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 (ORRA)
Today the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what we already knew: repealing the Affordable Care Act and delaying replacement will wreak havoc on our health care system. According to the CBO’s report, the Senate’s latest bill would strip coverage from 32 million Americans and cause health insurance premiums to nearly double in the next decade.