Tag: Old age

8 People Die in Florida Nursing Home That Lost Power During Irma

8 People Die in Florida Nursing Home That Lost Power During Irma

(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) — Eight patients at a sweltering nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida’s 4 million senior citizens amid power outages that could go on for days.
Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were heat-related, and added: “The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation.”
Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure patients are safe, and he ordered an investigation into the deaths.
Exactly how the deaths happened was under investigation, with Sanchez saying authorities have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.
Nursing homes in Florida are required by state and federal law to file an emergency plan that includes evacuation plans for residents.
Any plan submitted by the Hollywood center was not immediately available.
As of 2016, Florida had about 680 nursing homes.
As of Tuesday, the number of people without electricity in the steamy late-summer heat had dropped to 6.8 million — about a third of Florida’s population.
It’s going to be tough to tell how much was the heat and how much of it was they were sick already,” Mallak said.
She said she last heard from her sister two days ago and found out the air conditioning was not working.

The Senate’s Stealth Raid on Seniors’ Health Care
Social Security Disability

The Senate’s Stealth Raid on Seniors’ Health Care

He is preparing to ram the disastrous health care repeal bill that House Republicans passed last month through the Senate and down the throats of the American people.
The health care repeal bill, often known as “Trumpcare”, would be a disaster for tens of millions of Americans, and especially those over fifty.
Trumpcare would allow health insurance corporations to charge older Americans up to five time as much for coverage.
Currently, a 64-year-old with total income of $26,500 pays an average of $1,700 a year for health insurance bought in an Affordable Care Act exchange.
Millions of Americans, low-income seniors and people with disabilities, are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicaid is particularly essential for those who require long-term care, which will be most of us one day.
To stop McConnell’s health care repeal bill, we need to convince three Republicans to vote no.
If your Senators are Republicans, demand that they vote no.
If one of them represents your state, call today!
Don’t stop calling, and getting others to call, until the bill is defeated!

The GOP Healthcare Plan Has a Stealth Medicaid Killer That Could Affect 1 in 4 Americans

The GOP Healthcare Plan Has a Stealth Medicaid Killer That Could Affect 1 in 4 Americans

The American Health Care Act, as the replacement legislation is called, would slash federal Medicaid spending by $880 billion over 10 years, according to a cost estimate released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.
Even those with no connection to Medicaid could still be affected by changes to the program: Medicaid absorbs the high cost of expensive care — including that of dementia patients — that would otherwise be shifted to the private insurance market and Medicare, increasing costs for their enrollees.
By contrast, the proposed per-capita approach limits spending to a fixed dollar amount per enrollee; that amount would rise with a measure of inflation, but experts predict that it would still lag actual cost increases.
On average, the federal government pays 64% of Medicaid costs, while the states pick up the remainder, Park says.
This proposal would lower the amount of home equity that some older adults are allowed to have and still qualify for Medicaid to pay long-term care costs.
California, meanwhile, has no limit on home equity.
The American Health Care Act would make all states use the limit of $560,000, no longer giving them the option of choosing a higher cap.
In the San Jose, Calif. metro area, for example, the 98,000 homeowners who have owned their home for 20 years or more have an average estimated home equity of $717, 000, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
What’s more, Medicaid’s home equity calculation includes land—so in rural areas, a small farmhouse on many acres could push a would-be beneficiary above the limit, Amoruso says.
“Politics aside, we’re dealing with people,” Amoruso says—“people who are vulnerable.”

Daughters Will Suffer From Medicaid Cuts

Daughters Will Suffer From Medicaid Cuts

Daughters Will Suffer From Medicaid Cuts.
Cutting Medicaid could make it more difficult to qualify, so more adult children would have to care for their parents.
The researchers at Boston College found that these caregivers spend an average of 77 hours per month with their parents, the equivalent of about two weeks of full-time work.
Calculations based on the American Time Use Survey indicate that caregivers effectively forfeited $522 billion in 2012 due to such duties; that is more than double the total cost of formal care, at $211 billion.
Women caregivers were more likely than men to retire because of these demands, and those who kept working reduced their workweeks by three to 10 hours on average.
Beyond this sacrifice, caregivers spend 35 percent of their own budget on parental care, surveys indicate.
Caregiving also takes a toll on physical and mental health.
Women who care for parents report more pain, and significantly higher out-of-pocket costs for their own health care.
Both women and men say they are more depressed and had poorer health because of parental care.
Even if Medicaid spending were not cut, demand for long-term care would rise as baby boomers age, leading to increased reliance on adult children and formal caregiving arrangements.

The Trump Administration Wants to Kill a Rule Protecting Elderly From Nursing Home Abuses

The Trump Administration Wants to Kill a Rule Protecting Elderly From Nursing Home Abuses

The Trump Administration Wants to Kill a Rule Protecting Elderly From Nursing Home Abuses.
Last fall, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service finalized a rule that banned nursing homes and assisted living facilities from forcing patients and their families into private arbitration to resolve any disputes—a practice that keeps any such conflicts out of the court system, thereby weakening patients’ legal leverage.
The rule was set for implementation last November, although court challenges by the nursing home and healthcare industry have kept it on hold.
On Monday night, the CMS released a proposed rule that would almost completely rescind the ban on mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. “These proposed revisions would help strengthen transparency in the arbitration process, reduce unnecessary provider burden, and support residents’ rights to make informed decisions about important aspects of their health care,” the agency said.
Consumer advocates quickly condemned the move, with the Fair Arbitration Now (FAN) Coalition saying that the reversal will ultimately hurt nursing home residents at a vulnerable time their life.
While the rule, originally proposed in July 2015, aimed to bar nursing homes from using forced arbitration clauses, it did leave the door open for facilities and consumers to enter into voluntary arbitration agreements; it also applied only to new contracts.
Lobby groups and individual facilities sued the CMS in October over the new restrictions, and a Mississippi federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in favor of nursing homes.
Monday’s proposal removes the ban on arbitration clauses, revising the planned rule to say only that such provisions must be in “plain language” and must be explained, and that patients must acknowledge they understand the policy.
The agency will be accepting public comments on the proposed rule for 60 days after it appears in the Federal Register.

Republicans want the poor to work for their government benefits

Republicans want the poor to work for their government benefits

Republicans want the poor to work for their government benefits.
Currently, work requirements don’t hit many people in the nation’s two largest safety net programs.
States can’t mandate Medicaid recipients to work.
The food stamp program contains an employment requirement, but it can be — and often is — waived.
It will only strip benefits from those who need them most, advocates say.
The program doesn’t require enrollees to work, though many do.
Food stamps: More than 40 million Americans receive food stamps — nearly two-thirds of them are children, elderly or disabled.
Under the Trump budget, only 1.3% of the nation would.
Those are the people the administration is looking to put back to work.
But the administration’s suggested work requirement would kick about one million very poor people off the program, said Stacy Dean, the center’s vice president for food assistance policy.

What The Trump Presidency Means For Seniors
Social Security Disability

What The Trump Presidency Means For Seniors

Some of the programs that could be targeted: Medicaid, important reforms in the way health care is delivered through Medicare, and services funded through the Older Americans Act such as Meals on Wheels, adult day, information assistance.
And while Trump vowed throughout his campaign to leave Social Security and Medicare untouched, congressional Republicans have targeted both programs and it is not clear whether the new president would resist their efforts to cut benefits.
He did back a House GOP plan to cap federal spending for Medicaid, a program that benefits very poor and very sick older adults and people with disabilities, as well as low-income mothers and children.
And he said he backs an old (never-enacted) congressional proposal to cut government spending by one percent a year, except for Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and defense.
But first one more bit of context to help explain why a Trump presidency is likely to lead to big spending cuts for programs that benefit seniors and younger people with disabilities.
A GOP –controlled Congress will almost surely approve a very large tax cut next year and while it won’t be as big as what Trump has proposed, it will be very large.
That’s where programs for seniors come in.
If Congress finances these tax cuts with across-the-board domestic spending cuts—something like Trump’s penny plan—senior services will almost surely get caught in the squeeze.
Ryan and other House Republicans have been trying for years to cap the government’s share of Medicare, a step that would lead to huge jumps in premiums for seniors, and to limit Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age, change the cost of living index, or other adjustments.
It is not possible to know now how deeply Trump and Congress would cut any of these programs, or when the cuts may be enacted.

Defeating Zombie Trumpcare: The Fight To Protect Medicare And Medicaid Continues
Social Security Disability

Defeating Zombie Trumpcare: The Fight To Protect Medicare And Medicaid Continues

Defeating Zombie Trumpcare: The Fight To Protect Medicare And Medicaid Continues.
That’s what the American people voted for.
But now that he’s in the White House, Trump is championing the so-called “American Health Care Act” (AKA Trumpcare) which would be a massive violation of that promise.
Trumpcare would raid Medicare, gut Medicaid, and be an utter disaster for older Americans and Americans with disabilities.
Now they’ve made the bill even worse, gutting the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, to win the support of the far-right House Freedom Caucus.
Now is the time for everyone to call their House members and demand they vote no on Trumpcare, so that the bill never makes it out of the House.
That’s why are traveling around the country on our Hands Off Medicare and Medicaid Tour, looking for 3 Republican Senators to vote no on Trumpcare and any other reconciliation bill that includes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.
Kokomo, Indiana is a somewhat typical American manufacturing city.
Cuts dedicated Medicare funding by $117.3 billion over the next decade Cuts federal funding for Medicaid by $880 billion over the next decade Increases insurance costs for older Americans 55-64 by as much as 750% Ends Medicaid’s new protections for older adults just below Medicare eligibility age by shifting costs of Medicaid expansion to the states Fundamentally threatens Medicaid’s protections for seniors and people with disabilities by taking away its guarantee and placing a per enrollee cap on federal funding Threatens Medicaid’s long-term care protections for seniors and people with disabilities, including those also receiving Medicare Removes critical funding for our national healthcare system to create a massive tax break for millionaires and billionaires Significantly increases all out-of-pocket healthcare costs for older adults just below Medicare eligibility age Paves the way for future, even more drastic cuts to Medicare and Medicaid Below are some of the senators who, for a variety of reasons, might vote no on Trumpcare.
Don’t stop calling, and getting others to call, until the bill is defeated!