With the U.S. Senate continuing to move forward with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) calls on Congressional leaders to work across the aisle and with stakeholders to develop policy proposals that will support the health and well-being of all Americans.
"Each of the proposed bills presently under consideration calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans. These cuts would negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them," notes AGS CEO Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. "AGS remains opposed to the current slate of policy proposals."
Like many other organizations, the AGS believes that Congress must invite stakeholder input, hold public hearings, and provide ample opportunity for feedback from the American public regarding policy proposals that will build on the gains made under the ACA. Any replacement plan should reduce regulatory burdens that detract from care and increase costs. It remains particularly important that proposed reforms:
- Expand older adults' healthcare options to include in-home and other care that enables us all to live independently as long as possible;
- Help older adults and caregivers better understand healthcare needs and make the most of Medicare and other benefits;
- Provide caregivers with adequate resources and support; Ensure that value-based purchasing and other quality initiatives take into account the unique healthcare needs of all older people;
- Strengthen primary and preventive care and care coordination;
- Address the acute and growing nationwide shortage of geriatrics healthcare professionals, and ensure that all healthcare providers have training that prepares them to meet the unique healthcare needs of older people; and
- Step up research concerning healthy aging, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of age-related health problems, and the cost-effectiveness of various approaches to care, while also ensuring that older adults are adequately represented in research trials.
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.
Daniel E. Trucil