September 21, 2017 Advocacy Alert

n4a Advocacy Alert

Senate Vote Planned Next Week for Graham-Cassidy n4a Updates Grassroots Advocacy Tools to #SaveMedicaid

September 21, 2017

As n4a’s September 19 Advocacy Alert detailed, there is a new—and very serious—threat to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, which would have drastic implications for health care costs and coverage for older adults. The Graham-Cassidy proposal to repeal and replace the ACA and restructure Medicaid includes devastating cuts to critical health care services and programs.  

Senate Republicans are attempting to push the Graham-Cassidy bill through both chambers in Congress in less than 12 legislative days—and without a complete analysis of cost and coverage implications from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). We understand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) intends to hold a vote on this measure as early as next Wednesday, as Congress has only until September 30 to pass this measure before the fast-track, privileged process expires.  

Local Advocates MUST ACT NOW to reach out to your Senators if we are going to prevent significant threats to health care programs critical to older adults. n4a has updated our #SaveMedicaid tools and resources to assist your advocacy efforts! n4a will also hold a conference call for Aging Network Advocates TOMORROW, FRIDAY, September 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss advocacy next steps and strategies (CALL IN NUMBER: 1-866-809-4014, PASSWORD: 8720885).  

While we are opposed to many of the provisions in Graham-Cassidy, we are extremely concerned about the move to restructure Medicaid. To be clear, the Medicaid cuts and caps in Graham-Cassidy apply to ALL of Medicaid, not just the ACA Medicaid expansion population. This means that the in-home and nursing home care provided to millions of vulnerable older adults could be in jeopardy. We are now asking all AAA and Title VI aging programs around the country to reach out to your Senators this week and next to share your concerns about what Medicaid cuts would mean for older adults and caregivers that you serve.  

In particular, we believe the Senate bill’s final provisions and passage hinge especially on the following Senators who have expressed previous concerns with Medicaid caps and cuts: Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jeff Flake and John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). If you live in one of these states, your advocacy is especially critical. Additionally, we hope you will engage your local leadership, providers, other agency stakeholders, clients and grassroots—go big and go broad!

Advocacy Tools Available

To support your advocacy efforts, n4a has UPDATED our suite of #SaveMedicaid tools and resources to address the threats posed by Graham-Cassidy (www.n4a.org/savemedicaid). Please use any/all of the following to assist your advocacy:

Also, join us for a conference call TOMORROW, Friday, September 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss advocacy strategy and answer local advocate’s questions. We

encourage all members and your networks to join us for this conversation (CALL IN NUMBER: 1-866-809-4014, PASSWORD: 8720885).

How to Take Action:

Now is the time for broad action! We have less than one week to stop this bill and prevent major changes to Medicaid. We’re urging all n4a members to find a way to engage your Senators on this issue, and to ensure that your local networks reach out as well. We may not get another chance to prevent devastating Medicaid cuts!

  • Send a Letter to Your Senators You can use n4a’s template letter to fax or email a letter to your Senators. Send this letter to any state/Washington, DC staff that you know and/or you can find fax numbers and emails on senate websites at www.senate.gov.  
  • Call your Senators Senators have said they aren’t hearing from their constituents about health care reform! Let’s change this—making a call is an easy way to be heard. Use n4a’s Talking Points to frame your message. You can find Senate DC office numbers on the Capitol Switchboard (202.224.3121), or look up your Senators’ district phone numbers on their websites.  
  • Alert Your Grassroots Ask your grassroots to reach out to your Senators as well. n4a has put together a template alert that you can customize, as well as a social media toolkit with ready-made images and messages. As your agency is able to, please engage your provider networks, advisory boards and committees, and other stakeholders (including clients and caregivers!) to reach out.  
  • Engage Your Local Media It is essential that lawmakers and the public understand what Medicaid cuts could mean for seniors.
  • Consider submitting a letter to the editor or op-ed to your local paper. n4a has a template op-ed/letter to the editor that you can use to get started, but it is important to customize the messages to your community and states.

Again, advocacy NOW is critical. There is not much time to prevent devastating cuts to health and long-term care services for older adults. It is important to reach out no matter where you live, but it is essential if you live in Maine, West Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Alaska and Kansas.  

Use n4a’s UPDATED advocacy tools and resources at (www.n4a.org/savemedicaid) to connect with your Senators and ask your local grassroots and stakeholders to do so as well!

Recap on Graham-Cassidy:

Graham-Cassidy would convert the ACA to a block grant structure—or capped amount given to states from the federal government—to provide insurance premium assistance (or other “health care services” up to the state discretion) to individuals previously on the Marketplace. The federal block grant, which would end after 2026, would also be subject to appropriations, which means it could be cut significantly by congressional appropriators. The block grant approach leaves it up to states to figure out how they want to provide health care services—premium support or otherwise—to individuals and who they want to target for coverage.   

Additionally, Graham-Cassidy would eliminate the individual and employer mandate; allow states to determine which health care services they deem protected as “essential benefits”; and allow insurers to charge older beneficiaries up to five times more than younger people for health coverage (or more, should states allow that). The bill would also effectively end Medicaid expansion to low-income adults, including a disproportionate share of adults between 55 and 64, as of 2019, which is earlier than any of the previous ACA repeal/replace proposals. The proposal would roll a portion of federal funding for Medicaid expansion into the overall block grant to states and force states to use commercial insurance options to cover individuals previously on Medicaid expansion, which would likely ultimately cost states more given Medicaid’s below average per-person costs.  

As with the previous repeal attempts, Graham-Cassidy goes beyond ACA and would fundamentally restructure the Medicaid program by converting it to a per-capita cap under which states would receive a set amount of Medicaid funding per beneficiary that grows more slowly each year than anticipated Medicaid costs, thereby shifting costs to states. Additionally, in order to accommodate year-over-year costs growth, Graham-Cassidy explicitly gives states flexibility to cut services—such as eliminating optional services to provide long-term services and supports (LTSS) at home and in the community. Ultimately,

Graham-Cassidy appears written to drive hundreds of billions in cuts to the federal Medicaid program, which would harm older adults and people with disabilities receiving Medicaid health care and LTSS.

--- If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September 11, 2017 Advocacy Alert

advocacy.alert.benefit

Update on OAA Amendments

Still Time for Advocacy Calls to House!

 
As our Sept. 7 Advocacy Alert shared, n4a worked with several congressional
champions on amendments to the House’s omnibus spending bill to increase the
House’s recommended funding levels for OAA. The House did not get through the
more than 200 amendments last week, but the two OAA amendments will come
up for consideration by the full House this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday, so
advocates should take action today and tomorrow!
 
The message and action steps remain the same, but now you have more time to
spread the word in your community!
 
The first amendment comes from Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Rep. Elise
Stefanik (R-NY) who have an amendment that would boost OAA Title III B
Supportive Services funding by adding $14.2 million to the current bill’s level of $350
million. As you know, increasing III B funding is n4a’s top appropriations priority,
but we need your help to get this amendment into the bill!
 
A second amendment from Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Dave Loebsack (DIA)
would boost OAA Title III B, C and E programs, nearly up to their authorized
level, for a total increase of $51 million.
 
But if their colleagues in the House don’t sufficiently support these amendments,
our efforts fail, so please take the time today or tomorrow morning to call the DC
offices of any and all Representatives in your planning and service area!
 
What You Can Do:
  • Call Your Representative(s) NOW.
  • Use the Capitol Switchboard to connect (202.224.3121) or look up their direct line via their webpage, which you can find at www.house.gov.
  • When you call, identify yourself as a constituent and, if you’re able, briefly mention the role your agency plays in the congressional district.
  • Ask the Member of Congress to support the McSally-Stefanik Amendment #100 and the Bonamici-Loebsack Amendment #133 on the House floor.
  • Close with a line or two about why OAA is so important to the older adults and caregivers you serve and why this additional funding is so needed.
  • Quickly Spread the Word. Ask your staff, allies, partners and other stakeholdersto also make calls to their Representatives.

      Timing is obviously critical, so thank you for taking swift action!

---
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy
positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I4A Alert for August 11, 2017

 I4A_Alert.png

Illinois Aging Network Alert
A periodic report of the impact of the state budget crisis on Illinois Seniors and Community Programs on Aging, from
I4A - Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Contact:  Joy Paeth 618-222-2561 or Jon Lavin 708-383-0258
 
Education – An Aging Issue!
First things First - The Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging is most thankful for the enactment of a State Budget that responded to our requests over the past years.  We are beginning the process of rebuilding our networks as funding begins to flow.  What a great change from the past two years!
 
The issue today is Education Funding – Our Association is not an expert on this subject, but we do know that school funding is an “aging issue.”
 
Not only do older persons support our schools through property and income taxes, but across Illinois there are 34,027 Grandparents age 60 and over raising their Grandchildren as the primary parent(s) (Department of Commerce - U.S. Census - American Community Survey).
Often these grandparents are alone, facing legal, health, mobility, societal and income barriers.  School days and education are essential to support their ability to meet their obligations for a full life for their children.  School contributes to their stamina and ability to handle all the demands of a Relative who is working through the red tape, physical obstacles and endurance needed to be a parent.
 
Please resolve the school funding formula issue to assure quality education for all Illinois children and quality schools for these wonderful grandparents!
 
Distributed for the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging by:
Jonathan Lavin
Chief Executive Officer
AgeOptions

n4a Advocacy Alert

#SaveMedicaid

Dear Susan:  

We are at a major health and long-term care crossroads. Unless 51 Senators oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) when a vote is called in less than two weeks, Medicaid will never be the same. By capping the federal government’s commitment to this safety net program, BCRA leaves states, providers and consumers holding the bill…or in the case of older adults, without the Medicaid home and community-based or nursing home services they need to live.  

Susan, we know that IL's Senators are united in opposing these devastating cuts to Medicaid. If you haven’t yet, it is important to thank them for defending this critical safety net program, and reach out to see how else you can help their efforts. There won’t be another chance to stop these devastating cuts.  

If the Senate passes BCRA after the 4th of July recess, the House is likely to follow suit immediately and within days, the President would sign a bill that would end Medicaid’s safety net promise and structure.  

While you don’t need to worry that your Senators are committed to protecting Medicaid, there are still other things you can do to contribute to the overall advocacy effort!

Here are some other things you can do:

  • Acknowledge your Senators’ support. Members of Congress who are opposed to health care and Medicaid reform proposals are working tirelessly to protect these critical programs. Make sure they know you see that and appreciate it.
  • Reach out to your Members in the House of Representatives. If a health care reform bill passes the Senate, it will have to get back through Congress. Did any of your Representatives in the U.S. House support the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed in May? If so, reach out and tell them you oppose any further support of devastating cuts to Medicaid.
  • Take the next advocacy step. If you’ve used n4a’s #SaveMedicaid campaign toolkit to send a formal letter, make calls or send out an Alert in your community, excellent. Now do a letter to the editor, submit an op-ed, send a press release! And keep the calls coming into DC and local offices!
  • REACH OUT in your local and nationwide community. Host a call to educate about the bill and the effect it would have on seniors’ health and Medicaid services and invite your providers, your boards and advocates, other community stakeholders who need to understand what’s at stake. Also consider reaching out to colleagues, friends and family in decisive states* and ask THEM to call their Senators in opposition to the bill!
  • Join with others to advocate at town halls or other recess events! Even if your Senators steadfastly support health and long-term care services and protections for older adults, they still need to see their constituents engaged! Share your stories and expertise at local events during the recess. You can find a list of local events at https://townhallproject.com/.

Here’s what we can offer:

Again, advocacy in every state is critical. We have only a couple of weeks to prevent devastating cuts to health and long-term care services for older adults.

* Key target states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, West Virginia

---

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Copyright © 2017, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), All rights reserved. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) 1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20036

 

 

n4a Advocacy Alert

Keep Up The Pressure! 

Senate Delays Health Care Vote but Action Still Needed to #SaveMedicaid

June 27, 2017

In breaking news from Washington this afternoon, Senate Leadership has delayed an expected vote on the Senate’s health care reform proposal, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), until after the July 4th recess.  

However, urgent advocacy action is still needed to demand that lawmakers reject any health care reform effort that would increase costs, decrease coverage and weaken Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults. As written, both the House and Senate bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructure the Medicaid program would undermine health care coverage and LTSS support for older adults.  

As a resource for n4a members and Aging Network advocates and stakeholders, n4a has released a video update about what the Senate’s bill could mean for older adults. We encourage you to watch and listen to this presentation, and feel free to share it with your local advocacy stakeholders.  

Watch the Video

Advocacy Still Needed!

Now that the Senate has postponed a vote on the BRCA, advocates MUST weigh in over the July 4 recess against the devastating cuts to Medicaid in the Senate and House bills.

We have updated the n4a #SaveMedicaid (www.n4a.org/savemedicaid) campaign page, and urge you to use these advocacy tools and resources to engage your grassroots and local partners while lawmakers are at home next week!

Watch today’s video, check out the n4a #SaveMedicaid campaign page and use n4a’s June 20 Advocacy Alert for ideas on how you can weigh in with your Members of Congress against these harmful health care proposals! Again, advocacy NOW is critical. We have only a couple of weeks to prevent devastating cuts to health and long-term care services for older adults.

---

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Copyright © 2017, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), All rights reserved. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) 1730 Rhode Island Ave., NW Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20036

 

 

Get in touch

Location

ECIAAA
1003 Maple Hill Road
Bloomington, IL 61705-9327

Contact

Email: aginginfo@eciaaa.org
Phone: 309-829-2065
Fax: 309-829-6021

Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sat-Sun: CLOSED

Seniors

Seniors may call toll free:
Phone: 1-800-888-4456