by Marci Phillips. This article originally appeared on the NCOA blog.
The 35-day partial government shutdown that occurred during December and January was the longest government shutdown on record, and it hampered many aspects of the government’s work on behalf of older adults. While the government is back at work, Congress must pass a funding bill by February 15th. The National Council on Aging‘s Public Policy and Advocacy team are monitoring the negotiations and the shutdown’s effects on benefits and services that older adults rely on.
Only 5 of the 12 FY19 appropriations.... Read More
Rose and George Covington live in a 4-bedroom, two-bath brick house on Meridian St. in East Nashville. They are still doing what they started doing 45 years ago: raising children. Their own two, Tim and Jessica, are grown and out of the house.
They’ve got five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Michael, who is 2 ½. Rose and George are raising them. There is also Rose’s nephew, Jerry, 14. Kids from an extended family of eighty-nine at one time or another have lived in the house on Meridian St. It has four blue metal chairs on the front lawn and a welcome mat by the front.... Read More
As the nation begins unpacking the 2018 midterm election results, we will hear a lot from pundits framing Democratic gains in the House and gubernatorial races largely as a backlash against the bigotry, hypocrisy and lack of civility in the Trump administration. But if you take a moment and dig deeper, you’ll find another powerful motivator, something more personal and more relevant to voters’ lives that also drove the electorate in many red and purple states: Medicaid. In at least six states, voters went to the.... Read More
SEARAC Toolkit Sheds Light on Public Charge Proposal
The Trump Administration has proposed broadening the set of government services considered when determining whether an individual is a ‘public charge,’ a term applied to someone who is likely to rely on government assistance for support. If a person is considered a public charge, they may be denied a green card.
Seniors and parents of U.S. citizens are a significant, and growing, segment of immigrants to the U.S. and are critical to the well-being of intergenerational families. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrants age 65 and older grew from 2.7 million to nearly 5 million. The number of parents of U.S. citizens who have been admitted as legal permanent residents more than tripled between 1994 and 2016. In making it.... Read More
Protecting Immigrant Families by Opposing the Proposed Public Charge Rule
Momentum is growing to block one of the Trump administration’s latest shameful attacks on immigrants, and tens of thousands of people have already submitted their comments to the government. The proposed “public charge” rule change — which could block immigrant families who use certain government programs from a secure future in the United States — is truly a matter of life and death for some immigrant families.
One of the programs that will receive additional scrutiny under the rule change is Medicaid, which helps many older adults, people with disabilities, and people with chronic illnesses thrive. Immigrants working toward a future in the United States shouldn’t be afraid to use these vital services.
If health care advocacy were a sport, there’d be no question about our defensive strategy. Much of our collective efforts over the last few years have centered around defeating threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Defense is crucial; defense is where games are lost. And defense is exciting. There’s a palpable urgency in the crunch to defend needed programs that piques the interest of otherwise passive spectators, and as our state partners have seen,.... Read More
Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries
Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.
On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.
“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More
Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare
For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.
When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.
Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More
What Advocates for Older Adults Need to Know About the Budget Resolution
If you work with older adults (or have older adults in your life), you have a sense of what we all need as we age. The burden of high health care and housing costs on low-income seniors is growing, and fewer seniors can meet these basic needs: hot meals and enough food to eat, a stable home in the community, and quality health care. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution that would make this vision of aging more and more rare. The.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition urges CMS Innovation Center to identify and meet the needs of diverse older adults
Contact: Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator 646-653-5015
Today, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center in response to a request for feedback on a proposed new direction for the Center. In the DEC’s comments, we urged CMS to keep the needs of diverse older adults at the forefront of their work, and to make every effort to identify the diverse elders in the U.S. population by collecting comprehensive, disaggregated data about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.