NCOA Urges Congress to Keep Promise of Improved Health Care for Older Americans and Not Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Repeal Would Strike Down Key Benefits Already in Effect and Add to the Deficit

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization for older Americans, is urging the 112th Congress not to repeal the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100615/NCOALOGO)

Already, the ACA is providing critical benefits for seniors and their families, including a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" or coverage gap, a free annual wellness visit to help older adults develop a personal prevention plan, and full coverage of important preventive services such as diabetes tests and prostate cancer screenings.

Specifically, repeal of the ACA would:

  • Increase costs to seniors for preventive care;
  • Eliminate new home and community services options that reduce premature nursing home placement including the CLASS program and Medicaid improvements;
  • Worsen quality of care and increase hospital readmissions for older adults with multiple chronic conditions;
  • Increase prescription drug costs to millions of seniors;
  • Eliminate new protections against elder abuse and neglect;
  • Require more seniors to switch prescription drug plans to receive extra help;
  • Permit spouses of Medicaid home and community services recipients to become impoverished; and
  • Weaken Medicare Trust Fund solvency by 12 years.

"Last year, a promise was made to millions of Americans without insurance that their health and well-being is critical to our nation as a whole," said James Firman, CEO of NCOA. "It would be a grave mistake for the new Congress to turn its back on that promise and take away important benefits that already are helping so many of our citizens."

In 2010, NCOA developed Straight Talk for Seniors on Health Reform, a campaign designed to provide seniors and their families with "just the facts" about the new health reform legislation. Tens of thousands of seniors, their families, and members of the aging services network utilized these tools to understand the new law and what it means for them.

All Straight Talk materials, including an interactive quiz, are available online at www.NCOA.org/StraightTalk.

"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has already declared that repealing health reform would add an additional $230 billion to our federal budget deficit by 2021," said Firman. "In a time of proposed fiscal responsibility, repeal would be irresponsible and damaging to our citizens."

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit www.NCOA.org.

SOURCE National Council on Aging

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