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Medicaid Archives - JUSTICE IN AGING

Justice in Aging Statement on Proposed 2019 Budget

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President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 Budget is yet another attack on the health and economic security of older adults and people with disabilities. After using the latest tax bill to give away trillions of dollars in tax cuts to America’s wealthiest, the Administration is attempting to pay for those tax cuts by slashing critical programs that keep older adults in their homes, allow them to visit their doctors, and ensure they can meet their basic needs.

This budget would take us backwards by increasing poverty and making it harder for people to get the health care they need. It goes against what Congress wants and what the public wants. In its 2018 budget, Congress recently increased spending for important and popular programs. Those gains would disappear in 2019 under this budget.

The American people do not want cuts to Medicaid or the repeal of the ACA, yet this budget renews calls for slashing Medicaid by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade through block grants and per capita caps, as well as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we have explained, such cuts would be devastating to low-income older adults who rely on Medicaid to support their health care needs and ability to stay in their homes, leave millions without coverage, and weaken consumer protections.

The President promised the American people he wouldn’t touch Medicare, yet his proposed budget for the next ten years calls for over $490 billion in cuts to a program that every American will need.

The budget also would make it harder for older adults to pay rent, put food on the table, and meet their basic needs. The budget proposes significant cuts of over $83 billion to Social Security, primarily through cuts to Social Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. These programs are there for people who have no or little income and are the difference between home and a life on the streets for many.

Additionally, the budget proposes dramatic cuts to nutrition assistance, eliminates funding for home heating and cooling assistance for about 6 million low-income households, and calls for the complete elimination of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides vital legal help for low-income older adults and their families.

This budget is a true window into the misplaced priorities of this President and his Administration. On the heels of a massive tax cut that will increase income inequality, this budget proposes to make life even more difficult for America’s poor older adults and people with disabilities.

By joining together we have fought back successfully against previous attempts to cut the programs older adults and their families rely on, and we will continue to fight for justice for us all as we age.

Read our joint statement with Medicare Rights Center, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy

 

Joint Statement: President’s Budget Targets Key Health Care Programs; Millions of Older Adults and People with Disabilities at Risk if Implemented, Advocates Warn

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Washington, DC—The President’s annual budget request is, at its core, a statement of values. It is incredibly troubling then, that President Trump’s budget blueprint for FY 2019, submitted this week, again prioritizes deep cuts to programs on which older adults and people with disabilities rely, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

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Justice in Aging’s Statement on CMS’s Guidance Regarding Work Requirements for Medicaid-Eligible Individuals

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(January 12, 2018) Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) issued guidance to states that would allow them to condition Medicaid eligibility on fulfilling work and “community engagement” requirements. This represents an unprecedented change to Medicaid eligibility that threatens healthcare for millions of low-income persons, including older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare, people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, and family caregivers.

Not only have punitive work requirements been proven ineffective at lifting people out of poverty or improving health outcomes, they are also extremely burdensome for beneficiaries to navigate and for states to administer. Requiring people to verify that they are either working or exempt from the requirement will inevitably lead to Medicaid-eligible people falling through the cracks simply because the process is too complicated, onerous or doesn’t work correctly.

CMS intends to allow states broad leeway in determining who would be subject to work requirements and what activities would satisfy those requirements.  For example, while CMS recognizes that Medicaid beneficiaries may be caregiving for elderly family members, there are no required protections for caregivers. As a result, depending on how the state defines “work,” family caregivers, who are more likely to be women, risk losing their health coverage. Similarly, many people with chronic health conditions and disabilities that limit their ability to work could be excluded from coverage or face onerous verification processes to be exempted from a work requirement.

We strongly oppose this change in longstanding policy as defying the objectives of the Medicaid program and endangering the lives and well-being of those who rely on it. We urge CMS to reconsider this policy and call on states to maintain the purpose of Medicaid, protect the health of their residents, and not impose work requirements.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on Passage of the Tax Bill

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December 20, 2017-Today, the House and Senate passed their destructive tax bill on a purely partisan basis. The tax bill provides an enormous tax break to wealthy individuals and big corporations at the expense of the well-being of millions of others, including older adults. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the bill’s tax breaks for the wealthy will slash federal revenue by over $1 trillion, directly undermining critical programs that older adults rely on, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This bill threatens the health and economic security of older adults and their families in other ways as well. By repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, the tax bill will leave 13 million Americans without health care, including older adults, people with disabilities and 5 million Medicaid-eligible individuals. The tax cuts will not provide financial relief to most older adults. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds that by 2027 the bottom three-fifths of Americans will see their tax bills rise, as temporary tax cuts for individuals expire and corporate tax cuts remain permanent. Further, under sequestration, the bill also triggers automatic cuts to certain federal programs, including $25 billion from Medicare in 2018 alone.

The fight is not over. Now that Congress has passed the tax bill, we must hold them accountable, and let them know that they can’t pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by slashing Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, SNAP, and many other programs that older adults depend on.

We will be here in the New Year ready to fight back and provide you with the information you need to do your jobs. Thank you for everything you do. Together we will protect older adults, people with disabilities, and their families from harm, and work to strengthen the programs they rely on.

Senate ACA-Repeal Knocks Down House, Builds Shack

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Home & Community Based Services, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
Over 90% of older adults say that they want to remain in their homes as they age, rather than going into a nursing home. A successful and popular program, Community First Choice (CFC), lets people do just that.

The revised Senate health care bill brings an idea that should be a hard sell for the over 3 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for in-home care. On top of a massive almost $800 billion cut to Medicaid that guarantees shrunken programs and eliminated services, the Senate bill kills CFC and replaces it with an inferior version that provides fewer services for a limited time only.

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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 | No Comments

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.”

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4 Ways the AHCA is an Attack on Older Adults

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid | No Comments
The House is set to vote today on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If enacted, 24 million Americans would lose their health coverage. Here are four ways the AHCA, with the recent amendments, is an attack on older adults:

1. The AHCA Guts Medicaid: The AHCA would drastically change Medicaid and harm older adults by cutting over $800 billion in federal funding, eliminating Medicaid expansion for adults ages 55 – 64, and weakening beneficiary protections. Under the AHCA, older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid would have fewer benefits and services, reduced access to home and community-based services, and receive less help paying for Medicare premiums or cost-sharing. States would be forced to make other cuts to Medicaid and other safety net programs as they will not have adequate funding to meet the needs of their aging populations. Read More

Justice in Aging and Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation Offer Recommendations to Improve Non-Emergency Medical Transport for Older Adults

By | NEWS, News Releases, PRESS RELEASE | No Comments

November 3, 2016 (Oakland, CA) – A new report released today by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center) and Justice in Aging outlines the importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services (NEMT) for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices. The report, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults, can be accessed at Justice in Aging and the Center.

Across the country, 7.1 million Americans rely on NEMT services to get to medical appointments. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services. NEMT is an important Medicaid benefit for the people who rely on it to visit their doctors, receive treatment for chronic conditions and travel to settings such as adult day health care. Considering that NEMT represents less than 1 percent of total state and federal Medicaid expenditures and has the potential to prevent much more costly medical care, it provides exceptional value for states.

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Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments

Low-income older adults depend on Medicaid’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit for transportation services to and from medical services. Nearly 7.1 million Americans rely on it. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services.

With our partners at Community Catalyst’s Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, we created an issue brief, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults.

The brief outlines the importance of NEMT for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users, and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices.

For a quick overview of the full brief, visit our blog. You can also view the accompanying webinar here.

 

Democratic Debate Senior Poverty Question: A Missed Opportunity to Provide Solutions

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
“How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

During last night’s Democratic debate, Gwen Ifill shared a question from Farheen Hakeem about senior poverty. While both the Democratic and GOP debates and have discussed poverty and income inequality, Farheen’s question was the first specifically focused on senior poverty. Farheen is a 40-year-old woman who works for a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin. She asked:

“My father gets just $16 in food assistance per month as part of Medicaid’s family community program in Milwaukee County for low-income seniors. How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

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