Medi-Cal Recipients Sue California for Failing to Ensure Seniors and People with Disabilities Can Stay in Their Homes

By | Medicaid, PRESS RELEASE

July 6, 2017 – The State of California has failed to implement a federal law that requires Medi-Cal to implement eligibility rules intended to prevent one spouse from going broke while paying for at-home care for a spouse with a disability, according to a class action lawsuit filed today, Kelley v. Kent (LA. Super. Ct.).

When one spouse has chronic conditions requiring home-based care, the other spouse must balance the cost of that care against the couple’s basic needs. The federal law allows a person to get needed home-based services in certain instances in which a couple has income or resources higher than the typical maximum limit to qualify for Medicaid. Though the federal rule has been in effect for three and a half years, California has failed to implement it, forcing many families to teeter on the brink of financial ruin in an effort to care for their loved ones at home. The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court today by Bet Tzedek, Justice in Aging, Disability Rights California, and Western Center on Law and Poverty with pro-bono partner McDermott Will & Emery.

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Today’s CBO Analysis Reaffirms AHCA is a Disaster for Older Adults

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, PRESS RELEASE

Below is a statement from Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville

“This new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows that by 2026, 23 million Americans who previously had coverage will be uninsured. A disproportionately large number of the newly uninsured will be people between 50 and 64, whose premiums will skyrocket. For example, a single 64-year old with an income of $26,500 would have to pay a staggering $13,600 a year in premiums, more than half of what he has available to live on. That, compared to $1,700 a year under the Affordable Care Act, is an increase of more than 800%. Additionally, in states that waive consumer protections, older adults and others will see out-of-pockets costs rise sharply as plans provide skimpy coverage and can impose annual and lifetime limits.”

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Justice in Aging’s Statement on the 2018 Budget

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, PRESS RELEASE, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

Below is a statement strongly opposing Trump’s 2018 budget from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:

“President Trump’s 2018 budget is an attack on the millions of older adults who already live on meager incomes and struggle to pay their rent, buy food, and meet their health needs. The budget imposes massive cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, and other critical programs that many older adults rely on for their health and economic security.”
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More Than 75 National Organizations Urge U.S. Senate to Defend Medicare and Medicaid

By | PRESS RELEASE

–Advocates Oppose Key Provisions in the American Health Care Act–

Washington, DC—More than 75 national organizations sent a letter to Senate leadership today, urging them to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and to engage in a transparent, bipartisan dialogue on needed reforms to enhance health care access and affordability. The letter voices opposition to provisions in the AHCA that undermine Medicare’s financing and risk access to essential care for people with Medicare and Medicaid.

The Affordable Care Act imposed a small tax increase on the highest earners that helped put Medicare on stronger financial footing. The AHCA’s repeal of this tax will result in lost revenues, causing the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund to become insolvent two years earlier than anticipated. The letter expresses alarm that Congress would knowingly vote to undercut the Trust Fund.
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Justice in Aging Calls the American Healthcare Act an All-Out Assault on Older Americans

By | Health Care, Health Care Defense, News Releases, PRESS RELEASE

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.”

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Justice in Aging Welcomes Regan Bailey to Lead Litigation Efforts

By | LITIGATION, PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC – Justice in Aging is pleased to welcome Regan Bailey as its new Litigation Director. Justice in Aging is a national legal advocacy organization that uses the power of law to fight senior poverty. Regan will be working in the organization’s Washington, DC office.

Regan joins Justice in Aging after serving for the past five years at the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in the Special Litigation Section as a Trial Attorney. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Regan directed legal advocacy for Disability Rights Washington. Previously she served as the Assistant Director for Public Benefits and Economic Stability at Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, a Senior Attorney at University Legal Services, and a Managing Attorney at West Virginia Advocates. She was a Writ Clerk for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and was also a Staff Attorney for DNA People’s Legal Services for the Navajo Nation.
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Justice in Aging statement on the Amended AHCA

By | Health Care Defense, PRESS RELEASE, Uncategorized

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.”
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Judge Approves Settlement with Social Security Administration in Hart v. Berryhill

By | PRESS RELEASE, Uncategorized

Oakland, CA – On Thursday, March 16, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Northern District of California granted final approval of the settlement agreement in Hart v. Berryhill, a case filed on behalf of over 4,000 residents of the broader Bay Area and Central Coast whose disability benefits were denied or terminated, based on medical reports of a disqualified physician.

Morrison & Foerster LLP, Justice in Aging, and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County filed the case against the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2015 challenging the agency’s reliance on the medical reports of a disqualified physician to make disability eligibility decisions. The physician had been disqualified from performing medical exams for the agency after numerous complaints about their quality and accuracy, and his failure to correct his practices after warnings from the agency, yet the agency continued to rely on his reports. The parties have agreed to a settlement that will allow many plaintiffs to have their disability status redecided.
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