Senate Health Reform Proposal Jeopardizes Care for Us All as We Age, AGS Experts

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Newest proposal in a line of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will harm access to key health services for older Americans, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals, statement from AGS

June 22, 2017 (New York)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). Released today, the Senate proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mirrors many provisions of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill which narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 despite serious concerns voiced by the AGS and many other stakeholders. Like the AHCA, the new Senate proposal would drastically cut Medicaid funding—an important source of support for most vulnerable citizens, particularly older Americans who rely on this program for long-term care services and supports.

As an advocate for older Americans and the health professionals who serve them, the AGS is deeply concerned that the Senate will be voting on a legislative proposal that has had no Committee hearings and has not been open to the public or stakeholder organizations for review and comment.

We believe the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 will have a negative impact on us all as we age,” notes Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. “Medicaid is the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans, including nursing home care. Even if the Senate bill falls short of the $800 billion cut in Medicaid funding under the House bill, there is no doubt it will negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them. We are opposed to both the House and Senate health reform proposals, and we call on Congress to work with the American public and stakeholders to design health system reforms that improve access and care quality for all Americans.”

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has—for 75 years—worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.

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