Flawed Plan Will Put Health Care for Older Adults & People with Disabilities at Risk
Washington, DC — Over 50 organizations concerned about access to affordable, high-quality health care and long-term services and supports for older adults, people with disabilities, and their families, sent letters to Congressional leaders in both the House and the Senate today in opposition to the tax bill that is likely to be voted on next week. The letters reiterate the organizations’ strong opposition to any tax bill that would put at risk both health care and long-term care for older adults and people with disabilities.
The reported effects of the tax bill would be to explode the national deficit by at least $1 trillion, and potentially much more. This tremendous revenue shortfall will inevitably put Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs at risk for massive cuts. These are programs that millions of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families rely on. For example, more than 57 million older adults and people with disabilities rely on Medicare, including 11 million low-income beneficiaries who have both Medicare and Medicaid.
As currently reported, the tax bill would also repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, leading to an additional 13 million Americans uninsured. Such a repeal will increase insurance premiums for people with preexisting and chronic conditions, disproportionately affecting the 3.3 million adults over 55 who obtain insurance through the ACA marketplaces, and hurting their ability to afford health care.
The letters urge Congress to return to the drawing board. A bipartisan, transparent process for tax reform must take these issues into consideration and must include public hearings, open comments, multi-stakeholder meetings, and sufficient time for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the general public to analyze and understand the bill.
Justice in Aging (www.justiceinaging.org) is a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty through law. Formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center, since 1972 we’ve worked for access to affordable health care and economic security for older adults with limited resources, focusing especially on populations that have traditionally lacked legal protection such as women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and people with limited English proficiency.
The Medicare Rights Center (www.medicarerights.org) is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy (www.medicareadvocacy.org) is a national, nonprofit, non-partisan law organization that works to advance access to comprehensive Medicare coverage and quality health care for older people and people with disabilities through legal analysis, education, and advocacy.