The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC), Washington, a group that represents other nursing home groups, is welcoming an expression of support from the Congressional Task Force on Seniors – a panel chaired by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill, and Doris Matsui, D-Calif.
The task force is trying to get the “Super Committee” – the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – to preserve as much funding as possible for Medicare and Medicaid programs that help seniors.
The Super Committee is supposed to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction proposals by Thanksgiving, and programs aimed at seniors seem to be somewhere near the heart of the area the budget cutters are attacking.
Schakowsky and Matsui say hurting senior program funding would be a mistake.
“Median senior household income is less than $22,000, and only 1% have incomes over $250,000,” the lawmakers write in the letter. “It is wrong to ask seniors and other lower-income and middle-income families to sacrifice without requiring millionaires and billionaires, oil companies and corporate outsources to pay their fair share.”
From 2002, Medicare per capita spending increased an average of just 4.6% per year, compared with an average of 6.7% for private insurance, the lawmakers say.
Any program savings “should be used primarily to provide the adequate provider payments needed to ensure access,” the lawmakers add.