Justice in Aging Calls the American Healthcare Act an All-Out Assault on Older Americans

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.”

“Congress also voted to impose what amounts to an age tax on older Americans, increasing the annual cost of coverage for those 50-64 by as much as $12,900. Adults age 50-64 who relied on Medicaid expansion to see their doctor and get their medicines will also be left without care.”

“By passing the ACHA, the House chose to cut taxes for the wealthy and pharmaceutical companies while harming Medicare beneficiaries by increasing Part B premiums and reducing the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.”

“The latest changes to the bill made a bad bill worse. It will return the individual market to the pre-ACA days when older adults and those pre-existing conditions could not afford health coverage. Without protections for people with preexisting conditions, 25 million Americans aged 50-64 may be unable to see doctors because they won’t be able to pay their much higher premiums.”

“This disastrous bill is being rushed through Congress without regard for the health and safety of older Americans and their families. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is an all-out assault on the health and long-term care needs of older adults, and we call upon the Senate to stop this harmful bill, start over and work together to improve health care for older Americans and all Americans.”

Justice in Aging is a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty through law. Formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center, since 1972 we’ve worked for access to affordable health care and economic security for older adults with limited resources, focusing especially on populations that have traditionally lacked legal protection such as women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. Through targeted advocacy, litigation, and the trainings and resources we provide to local advocates, we ensure access to the social safety net programs that poor seniors depend on, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For more information, visit our website at www.justiceinaging.org.

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Contact: Vanessa Barrington vbarrington@justiceinaging.org
510-256-1200

 

About Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa leads communications efforts for Justice in Aging from the Oakland, CA office. She’s focused on increasing the visibility of Justice in Aging as a national leader in the fight against senior poverty, and amplifying the work of Justice in Aging’s lawyers to defend and broaden access to health care and economic security programs for America’s poor seniors. She oversees all online communications, public relations, social media, fundraising communications, publications, and webinars.