Below is a statement opposing the amended version of the American Health Care Act from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:
“The new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is even worse than the previous one for the older adults in our communities. The new version of the bill includes all of the devastating cuts of the old version, and also further weakens important protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
“Eight in ten older adults ages 55-64 have pre-existing conditions. The MacArthur amendment would allow insurance companies to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions by charging them sharply higher premiums, taking us back to pre-ACA days when these older adults couldn’t visit a doctor because they couldn’t afford to purchase insurance.”
“This change will likely increase the numbers of people who will lose insurance under this bill. The amended version retains all of the earlier provisions that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would result in 24 million people losing coverage, including provisions like the “age tax”, which would allow insurance companies to charge older adults five times as much for their care.”
“In addition to making it more difficult for older adults to get covered, the amended AHCA contains the same attacks on Medicaid and Medicare that were in the earlier version. The bill cuts funding for Medicaid by more than $840 billion over ten years, jeopardizing essential long-term care services that over 6 million older adults rely on to receive care in nursing homes and at home and in their communities. It also provides tax cuts to the wealthiest, decreasing the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by four years.”
“This bill takes away health insurance from tens of millions, slashes Medicaid, weakens Medicare, and makes it more difficult for people with pre-existing conditions to get the coverage and care they need. This bill is a disaster for older adults and should be rejected.”
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).
Contact: Vanessa Barrington