Justice in Aging’s Statement on the Nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, Statements

The stakes are high for older adults with the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. We need a Supreme Court Justice who will protect older adults’ access to health care, their economic security, and their right to be treated equally and with dignity in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Congress needs to reject any nominee, including Judge Kavanaugh, who will put the interests of the wealthy and powerful above the interests of the rest of us—especially the older adults in our communities. The American people want a Supreme Court justice with moderate views and who has bipartisan support. Judge Kavanaugh is not such a justice.

Judge Kavanaugh’s record gives us little comfort that he would defend the civil rights of older adults or older adults’ access to health care. He has routinely ruled against older adults in age discrimination cases. The fate of the Affordable Care Act and the consumer protections that are critical to the ability of older adults to access and afford coverage are on the line. Based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record, his confirmation would put protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at grave risk.

His willingness to defer to the executive authority of the President is dangerous and would undermine the judiciary’s role as a check on unfettered Presidential power. The Administration is rolling back important consumer protections and rights, including for LGBTQ older adults, and cutting access to Medicaid. The next Supreme Court Justice should be someone who will preserve the court system as a meaningful route to challenge these actions, not someone who would turn back the clock on civil rights

For those reasons we oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and urge members of Congress to reject him as a nominee. 

A Dimming Dream Of Retirement In California

KPBS: A Dimming Dream Of Retirement In California (June 19, 2018).

Each month, Rosanne Goodwin scours her one-bedroom apartment outside San Diego for possessions to sell on eBay.

“I’ve sold photo albums,” Goodwin said. “I’ve sold whatever I could that’s just around the house, hand tools that I’ve had since I was in my 20s that my dad had given me for being out on my own. I just look around and wonder what can I sell now that will generate some income?”

California has one of the highest percentages of seniors living in poverty in the United States, behind only Washington DC, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One in five seniors in California live in poverty, after adjusting for spending on basic necessities. Read More

Ideology threatens to trump facts in official Medicare handbook


Reuters: Ideology threatens to trump facts in official Medicare handbook (May 24, 2018). In September, the federal government will mail a handbook on Medicare enrollment to 43 million households. “Medicare & You” is an important, authoritative source on a wide array of plan options for the annual enrollment period that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, and it has been mailed out to beneficiaries each year since 1999.

But this year, advocate groups for seniors are crying foul over language contained in a draft of the 2019 handbook edition sent to them for review by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Medicare Rights Center and two other groups (Justice in Aging and the Center for Medicare Advocacy) argue that the draft contains inaccurate, ideologically tinted descriptions of the tradeoffs between original fee-for-service insurance and a privatized managed-care alternative. Read more.

‘Good Enough’ Is Not: Pushing Nursing Homes Past Mediocre Care


Aging Today: ‘Good Enough’ Is Not: Pushing Nursing Homes Past Mediocre Care (May 18, 2018). No one in their right mind would choose a new home in a mere 48 hours, based on a list of possibilities from a hospital discharge planner, and after making a few phone calls and (maybe) a couple of visits.Yet it is common practice for many nursing home residents. Many nursing homes are “chosen” in exactly this way and, unfortunately, a future resident’s lack of control often persists throughout life in these settings. Read more in this Op-Ed by Eric Carlson.

Finding Housing When Mom Doesn’t Speak English


Next Avenue: Finding Housing When Mom Doesn’t Speak English, (May 8, 2018) It’s not easy for anyone to be uprooted from a home and for an older adult with minimal or no English, it can be especially challenging. But, for consumers, planning ahead, researching your rights and stepping in to assist can help create the best outcome. Justice in Aging attorney, Denny Chan offers advice on how family members can learn their rights and help limited English proficient loved ones receive person-centered, culturally competent care throughout this piece.

Are Uber and Lyft Ready for Medicare?


Bloomberg Health: Are Uber and Lyft Ready for Medicare? (April 24, 2018) App-enabled ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are eager to work with Medicare plans, which could fund transportation as a supplemental benefit to enrollees. In this piece on the Bloomberg Health blog that summarizes a longer piece on the outlet’s paid platform, Justice in Aging attorney Georgia Burke cautions that drivers would need training in order to help older adults and people with disabilities who need door-to-door service.

Assisted Living: A $10 Billion Industry with Little Oversight


Governing Magazine: Assisted Living: A $10 Billion Industry with Little Oversight (April 2018) A February report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found significant shortcomings in oversight of assisted living facilities across the country. It found significant shortcomings in oversight of assisted living facilities across the country, but “barely scratches the surface” of the problem, said Eric Carlson when interviewed for the piece.

Wheelchairs Prohibited in the Last Place You’d Expect


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


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.