IN THE NEWS

Wheelchairs Prohibited in the Last Place You’d Expect

By | IN THE NEWS

The New York Times: Wheelchairs Prohibited in the Last Place You’d Expect (April 30, 2018) A lawsuit was filed in New York against a number of assisted living facilities for  discrimination against people in wheelchairs and for violating the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws. The facilities had all been found denying potential residents because they use wheelchairs. Part of the problem is that assisted living facilities are mainly regulated by the states, and many state laws are out of date and do not comply with federal non-discrimination law. Justice in Aging attorney Eric Carlson noted for the article that the percentage of assisted living facilities covered by Medicaid is growing.

How Medicaid Work Requirements Could Hurt Older Americans

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U.S News and World Report: How Medicaid Work Requirements Could Hurt Older Americans. (April 20, 2018) Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opened the door to state waivers that would impose work requirements on many Medicaid recipients, some states have requested and been approved such wages. In this article, Justice in Aging attorney, Eric Carlson talks about the amicus brief we filed to block Kentucky’s waiver.

Tax ‘Reform’ Puts Elders & the Safety Net at Risk

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Aging Today:  Tax ‘Reform’ Puts Elders & the Safety Net At Risk, (April 9, 2018). Even a few months into 2018, policymakers, reporters, economists, accountants and ordinary Americans are still working to understand the impact of the tax law that Republicans passed in a mad rush at the end of 2017. Little attention, however, is being paid to how the new law affects older adults. Kevin Prindiville goes over three things about the new tax bill that should worry advocates for older adults.

Group helps aging LGBT community

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Ventura County Star: Group helps aging LGBT community face challenges (3/9/2018). Older adults in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community face unique challenges as they become more vulnerable and are forced to depend on outside services for care and assistance. That’s the belief of the LGBT Aging Coalition of Ventura County, which was formed in late 2015 to bring together allies and members of the LGBT community. Most recently, the coalition presented a talk by Denny Chan, staff attorney of Justice in Aging, a national nonprofit with an office in Los Angeles. His talk, which took place on a recent Wednesday afternoon at the Pleasant Valley Community Center in Camarillo, covered some of the most pressing legal and long-term care issues facing LGBT older adults, as well as some of the best practices for reaching and serving this population.

This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like

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The Atlantic: This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like (2/22/2018). Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades. The problem is growing as more Baby Boomers reach retirement age—between 8,000 to 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, according to Kevin Prindiville, the executive director of Justice in Aging, a nonprofit that addresses senior poverty. “In the early decades of our work, we were serving communities that had been poor when they were younger,” Prindiville told me. “Increasingly, we’re seeing folks who are becoming poor for the first time in old age.”

What can be done to help today’s seniors and generations to come? There are two approaches, Prindiville says: help people save for old age and make retirement more affordable.

Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents

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The Hill: Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents (2/8/2018). This week’s GAO report shines a long-overdue light on Medicaid-funded assisted living. Federal funding of assisted living is large and growing, but to this point the federal government has not adequately ensured the quality of assisted living care. This lack of oversight has had tragic consequences for an unfortunately large number of older Americans. The GAO report was requested by a bipartisan group of senators, and its publication should prompt Congress and CMS to take action.

No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk

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California Healthline: No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transportation At Risk (2/5/2018). In California, Medi-Cal members in managed care get transportation through their health plans, while fee-for-service enrollees can arrange for the service through their counties, said Amber Christ, a Los Angeles-based staff attorney for Justice in Aging, a legal advocacy group. Medi-Cal transportation is a “lifeline” for the low-income seniors she works with, she said. “Most of them cannot afford a car, or if they have a car they can’t afford to keep gas in that car, or they can’t use public transportation,” she said. “Medicaid transportation is the only way they are going to their doctor appointments.” California has not proposed cutting this service, but should the federal government slash Medicaid funding overall, “you could see where states would feel the pressure to make cuts, and this might be one of the first places to do that,” Christ said.