NAELA President’s Statement on the Senate Health Care Reform Legislation

www.NAELA.org

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) President Hy Darling, CELA, CAP, released the following statement on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act, today:

I appreciate that the Senate heard NAELA’s concerns regarding the provision in the House passed American Health Care Act that would have imposed new restrictions on how much home equity states could exclude when an individual applied for Medicaid. This provision would have been particularly harmful to individuals with disabilities in high-cost areas who wished to remain at home.

Unfortunately, the Senate version of the American Health Care Act makes even worse the House’s radical changes to Medicaid by capping the federal government’s commitment to individuals with disabilities and low-income seniors, putting their health and well-being at risk. Then, starting in 2024, it limits federal payments to the states based on the growth of the Medicaid inflation, which, over time, could be insufficient to keep up with the cost of care. This could not come at a worse time, as the population of Americans over the age of 85 grows rapidly.

As members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), we represent individuals faced with significant long-term care needs. These are some of our nation’s most vulnerable people. Many require assistance to perform the most basic life functions. Their families are emotionally, physically, and financially exhausted from the process. They have had their dignity stripped and lost their life savings as a result of illness and disability.

Many of us cannot imagine ourselves in such a situation, but disability and disease can happen to anyone. For many people, including…

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