Bloomberg Health: Are Uber and Lyft Ready for Medicare? (April 24, 2018) App-enabled ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are eager to work with Medicare plans, which could fund transportation as a supplemental benefit to enrollees. In this piece on the Bloomberg Health blog that summarizes a longer piece on the outlet’s paid platform, Justice in Aging attorney Georgia Burke cautions that drivers would need training in order to help older adults and people with disabilities who need door-to-door service.
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
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.
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.
Sandy had a good job as a registered nurse, and a middle class standard of living. She lost her husband and her ability to work her physically demanding job around the same time, leaving her with no income. Because of her job as a nurse, she receives just enough Social Security to be disqualified from means-based assistance like Medicaid and subsidized housing. As a result she spends a large percentage of her monthly income on rent, leaving little money to cover food or her Medicare copayments and premiums. Read More
The annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period runs October 15 through December 7 2015. Advocates serving low-income individuals-even if you do not normally work on Medicare issues-to help Medicare-eligible can clients understand what they need to do. Our Fact Sheet for Advocates provides five basic tips for questions to raise when talking with clients. We also have a Fact Sheet for Consumers that you can give to your clients or use for outreach.
Justice in Aging submitted extensive comments to the draft 2016 Call Letter for Medicare Part C and Part D plans to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS issues the Call Letter annually to highlight areas where it is changing requirements on plans for the coming year, to request input on program elements where the agency is considering future changes and to identify areas where it is looking for improvements in plan performance. The Justice in Aging comments applauded CMS for much of the content of the draft. We noted specific areas where increasing complexity in plan design is making it increasingly difficult for beneficiaries to navigate the Part D benefit and urged CMS to continue rigorous review of formulary structure changes that create consumer confusion. We also argued for more translation of key beneficiary communications in the program. In addition to its own comments, Justice in Aging also joined twenty other advocacy organizations in a letter, spearheaded by the Medicare Rights Center, expressing strong support for CMS guidance requiring better adherence by plans to notice requirements for coverage denials in Part C and D and encouragement for CMS to explore ways to strengthen the appeals process and make it more accessible to beneficiaries. Read the call letter.