Senate GOP Bill is an Affront to an Aging and Caregiving Nation

Category:

MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Janet Kim
917-596-5519
janet@caringacross.org

Deep cuts to Medicaid destroy foundations for how millions of American families care for one another across generations

(WASHINGTON, DC) – This morning, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the health care bill, after weeks of crafting it in secret with no input from people who will be most affected. In response to the deep cuts to Medicaid – even deeper than the House version, and in conflict with Trump’s promises to provide affordable coverage for all Americans – Josie Kalipeni, Policy Director for Caring Across Generations, said the following:

“The bill is so out of touch that it can hardly be called a healthcare bill. It slashes Medicaid, just as the Elder Boom is relying on the long-term care supports Medicaid provides. It allows states to deny coverage for essential services like ambulance rides or prescription drugs all while increasing costs. It eviscerates health care coverage that caregivers and the care workforce rely on to keep themselves healthy. And twenty-four million Americans stand to lose insurance.

We are outraged by the Senate’s lack of transparency and their inability to provide for families’ immediate needs. And, given the changing demographics of this country, we are extremely concerned that they are flat out failing to point the country in the right direction for the future. Senate Republicans are willing to pay for tax cuts to the ridiculously wealthy with the health and well-being of caregiving families, and our entire nation’s future economic security. This is not only morally reprehensible, it’s dangerously irresponsible.”

Key Facts:

  • Americans are living longer than ever before, and as Baby Boomers get older, the need for long-term care is increasing.
  • Medicaid is the nation’s majority provider for long-term services and supports, which includes nursing home and home and community-based care.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), traditional Medicaid was expanded to cover individuals up to age 65 who are often uninsured or underinsured while waiting for Medicare coverage to kick-in.
  • While the federal budget already makes significant cuts to Medicaid, the Republican plan further guts the core Medicaid program and eliminates the Medicaid expansion made possible by the ACA.
  • The work of caregiving takes a toll on physical and mental health. As it is, home care workers make poverty wages, and one in four home care workers lives below the federal poverty line (FPL).
  • Between 2010 and 2014, 30 percent more direct care workers got health insurance, primarily as a result of Medicaid expansion. The Senate bill destabilizes the health care workforce upon which older adults depend.
  • Apart from Medicaid, the Senate bill re-institutes rate hikes that allow insurers to charge older adults five times more than a younger person. Many family caregivers are often older adults who may not have coverage through an employer due to cutting back from work to care for their family.

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