June 27, 2017 — DES MOINES, IA
Iowa’s leading consumer advocate for older Iowans and leading long term care provider advocates joined together to urge Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to vote against the U.S. Senate’s health care bill, “Better Care Reconciliation Act.”
The proposed bill includes cuts to Medicaid financing. Medicaid cuts would have devastating impact on Iowa’s services for older adults and persons with disabilities.
Medicaid is a critically-important payer for long term care services and supports. Thousands of Iowans rely on Medicaid, including nearly 12,000 in skilled nursing facilities and 42,000 receiving home and community based care.
“Cuts of 20-25% in Medicaid funding will close facilities and agencies, and make it nearly impossible to maintain a workforce,” said Cindy Baddeloo, Iowa Health Care Association’s Chief Operating Officer. “These types of cuts in long term care funding will put residents at risk throughout the state, because providers can no longer afford to provide these services without impacting the quality of care.”
Medicaid is especially vital for older Iowans, about 45% of Medicaid spending in Iowa is for Medicare beneficiaries.
“Will the local nursing home, home health agency, assisted living program, or home and community based care program be available to you in Iowa?" said Kent Sovern, AARP Iowa State Director. "If the ‘American Health Care Act’ or the ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’ proposals pass, for far too many Iowans, that answer would likely be no.”
AARP Iowa released survey of 50+ voters on June 22. The survey shows that many older Iowans are concerned about Medicaid cuts. 79% said they oppose Medicaid cuts including 66% of Republicans, 85% of Independents, and 87% of Democrats
“Our survey finds that across the political spectrum, older Iowans are concerned about Medicaid cuts, and together we are urging Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst to oppose cuts to Medicaid that would cut services, eliminate jobs, and reduce our quality of care and support for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Sovern.
See the survey at www.aarp.org/2017healthcaresurvey.