All Posts By

Vanessa Barrington

Advocates Seek Medically Necessary Oral Health Care, CMS Eyes Issue


Inside Health Policy January 29, 2019
This story leads with the news that CMS is taking a look at medically necessary dental benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. The article then goes on to describe advocate efforts (including Justice in Aging) to push for an inclusion of oral health benefits in Medicare Part B.  The article also mentions Justice in Aging’s brief on including an oral health benefit in Medicare as well as a bill that Senator Ben Cardin introduced to provide an oral health benefit. The article is behind a paywall. This is a summary.

Florida Faces ADA Lawsuit Over Medicaid HCBS Wait List

By | IN THE NEWS, Uncategorized

Open Minds: Florida Faces ADA Lawsuit Over Medicaid HCBS Wait List (January 27, 2019)
This health care trade publication article summarized our complaint in the case Alexander et al., v. Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, including the key facts of the case and noted Florida’s lack of an Olmstead Plan to guide the delivery of services for class members in the least restrictive placement to meet their needs. The article is behind a paywall that can be accessed by members here.



AARP Celebrates Justice in Aging’s Denny Chan, Recipient of the Asian American Pacific Islander Hero Award

By | IN THE NEWS, Uncategorized

On Wednesday, January 23rd. AARP honored Justice in Aging attorney Denny Chan with its Asian American Pacific Islander Hero Award for his work to advance language access for limited English proficient older adults. Several members of the media attended the event at AARP’s California headquarters in Pasadena. See the list of clips below.

  • ETTV News News segment aired on Jan 29, 2019
  • January 24, 2019
  • January 24, 2019
  • January 26, 2019
  • January 28, 2019
  • Chinese L.A. Daily News Jan 26, 2019 Print Issue
  • Zhong Guo Daily News January 26, 2019 Print Issue
  • World Journal, January 24, 2019

Cardin, Neal Express Interest in Medicare Oral Health Coverage


Inside Health Policy: Cardin, Neal Express Interest in Medicare Oral Health Coverage (January 14, 2019)

Oral health is critical to overall health, yet, fewer than half of older adults have access to oral health care in a given year. In 2018, Justice in Aging contributed to a white paper released by Oral Health America. In the white paper, we discussed how incorporating an oral health benefit into Medicare Part B could expand access to oral health care to older adults.

On January 4, 2019, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation to add oral health to Medicare Part B. Justice in Aging Deputy Director, Jennifer Goldberg, was quoted in the article saying that stakeholder support is coalescing behind adding an oral health benefit to Medicare Part B. The article is available online only to subscribers of Inside Health Policy. This is a summary.

Letter in Support of the Medicare Dental Benefit Act

By | Statements

In January , 2019, Senator Benjamin Cardin introduced the Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019, which amends the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of dental services under the Medicare program. Oral health is a key component of overall health and this new legislation is a critical step in improving the health and well-being of older adults and people with disabilities. Justice in Aging joined with Families USA, Oral Health America, and Center for Medicare Advocacy to thank Senator Cardin for his leadership on the issue. Read the letter.

Justice in Aging Statement on Affordable Care Act Decision in Texas

By | Statements

Last Friday, a Federal District Court in Texas issued a decision declaring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety unconstitutional. The judge’s reasoning has been widely criticized and legal scholars contend that it is unlikely the decision will be upheld on appeal. Nevertheless, the ruling sowed confusion and uncertainty on the eve of the ACA Marketplace enrollment deadline and furthers the harm caused by the Trump Administration’s and Congress’s actions to undermine the ACA.

If the ruling were to stand, the implications for older adults would be catastrophic. Over 4.5 million older adults age 55-64 who have coverage through the Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion would lose access to health care. For millions more, health care would become either unaffordable or unattainable because health insurance companies would again be permitted to charge older adults more based on age and deny coverage to the 8 out of 10 older adults with a preexisting condition.

The ACA’s Medicare provisions would also be rolled back. Medicare enrollees would face higher prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket spending on preventive services that are currently free pursuant to the ACA. Further, the savings from the ACA that extended the life of the Medicare trust fund would be eliminated, placing Medicare at risk for dramatic cuts through the budget, vouchers, and privatization. These are costs that seniors simply cannot afford.

Despite the judge’s ruling, the ACA remains the law today and older Americans can continue to rely on the ACA’s protections and coverage. By joining together, we have successfully prevented previous attempts strike down the ACA. That fight continues to ensure older adults have access to affordable and quality health care as they age.

Advocacy Groups Sue State of Florida for Violating the Americans with Disabilities Act

By | News Releases, Newsroom

A class action lawsuit filed today against Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration asserts that the state’s management of its Medicaid long-term care system violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. By perpetuating the institutionalization and segregation of older adults and people with disabilities and severely limiting their access to community-based services, the state forces people to unnecessarily enter nursing facilities to get care.

Justice in Aging, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty, and Southern Legal Counsel, a Gainesville, Florida-based, statewide nonprofit law firm, filed the suit on behalf of their clients, who are on the state’s waiting list for home-based long-term-care services and are currently at risk of unnecessary and unwanted institutionalization. Disability Rights Florida, private attorney Nancy Wright, and lawyers from the firm of Cozen O’Connor are co-counsel. Read More

The Truth About Older Consumers: Household Budgets


Stria: The Truth About Older Consumers: Household Budgets (November 26, 2018)

This piece challenges some of the “successful aging” narratives about older adults that are common in U.S. media. The author explores some of the different expenses older adults encounter (such as higher health care costs) that make them vulnerable. The author also acknowledges that many older adults start out as poor, and aging makes them poorer, and that some older adults, such as LGBT older adults, are more likely to age into poverty. The author interviewed Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, for insight into senior poverty, who said, “The cost of housing and health care keeps rising. Pensions are smaller than had been promised and some have disappeared altogether. Social Security is a bedrock, keeping 15 million older people out of poverty—but just barely. We have not strengthened or expanded Social Security and it’s not keeping up.” Read the full article.

Justice in Aging’s Letter to California’s Governor Elect Gavin Newsom

By | Statements

Gavin Newsom, California’s new governor, will begin his term among a growing crisis of senior poverty in the state. It will be critical that the Governor Elect create a master plan for aging that includes an aggressive, progressive approach to solve the root causes of senior poverty including high housing costs and high out-of-pocket medical costs, while increasing access to critical benefits that help California’s seniors get the help they need to make ends meet. Justice in Aging sent the new governor a letter congratulating him on being elected and outlining some of the critical investments in older adults we hope to see and work together with the administration to achieve.