To: Advocates for Older Adults, Supporters of Aging Services and NRV Agency on Aging Clients
From: Tina King, NRV Agency on Aging Executive Director
Subject: Current Proposed Changes to the Affordable Care Act and How Older Adults Will Be Impacted by the Changes
Date: March 15, 2017
This communication is to provide information on Congress’s current proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and how it can impact disabled and older adults; especially those with Medicaid and/or with lower incomes. The House of Representatives is moving quickly to get the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill through Congress by the end of March and the Senate is planning to vote on the House bill before the mid-April recess.
The bill has raised concerns among advocates for older adults, as there are indications that lower income older adults will experience the most impact if the bill becomes law.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports, by 2026 24 million Americans who would have had coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be uninsured. Kevin Prindiville, with Justice for Aging, states that the largest number of the newly uninsured will be people between 50 and 64 who will not be able to afford the much higher premiums in this bill. For example, a single 64-year old with an income of $26,500 would have to pay a staggering $14,600 a year in premiums, more than half of what he or she has available to live on. That, compared to $1,700 a year under the Affordable Care Act, is an increase of more than 750%.
The CBO report finds that the proposed AHCA cuts Medicaid spending drastically over 10 years. This will be done in several ways. The Medicaid cuts will force states to cut enrollment, deny services that are critical to older adults in need of long- term care, and squeeze provider payments, making it harder for older adults to find providers and receive needed services. Based on the proposed formula for federal Medicaid funding to states, Virginia will be at a disadvantage and will be locked in at a much lower federal rate than the majority of other states.
Medicaid provides vital health care and long-term community based services and supports for millions of older adults. It helps families afford quality care for their loved ones. Nationally, six out of ten nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to help cover the cost.
The proposed AHCA tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans will decrease Medicare revenues by $117 billion, according to the CBO report. This will shorten the life of the Medicare Trust Fund and possibly put health care for older adults in jeopardy.
If the proposed changes are of concern to you or a family member, it is important to act quickly by contacting your legislators to let them know. Contact information is included on the back of this information. If you have questions about this communication, please call me at 540-980-7720.
Contact Information for Representatives in the House and Senate
House of Representatives
Representative Morgan Griffith
Washington telephone number: 1-202-225-3861
Local office telephone number: 1-540-381-5671
To e-mail, go to website: www.morgangriffith.house.gov
Senator Tim Kaine
Washington telephone number: 1-202-224-4024
Local office telephone number: 1-276-525-4790
To e-mail, go to website: www.kaine.senate.gov
Senator Mark Warner
Washington telephone number: 1-202-224-2023 or toll-free: 1-877-676-2789
Local office telephone number: 1-276-628-8158
To e-mail, go to website: www.warner.senate.gov