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LETTER: Medicaid cuts will harm elderly, disabled Hoosiers

July 1, 2017

More than 42,000 of Indiana’s poorest and frailest residents. That’s the number of Hoosier Medicaid members who are elderly or have physical disabilities and rely on Medicaid for long-term services and supports that allow them to live and age with dignity, safety and maximum independence. 

Many are Hoosiers who are able to live and age safely and independently in their own home or in community-based settings. Some are children like Ian, who was born with spina bifida and is confined to a wheelchair. Thanks to Medicaid-funded services, he is able to attend his local school, play sports and enjoy friends of all types just like other children his age.

Others, like Mary, reside in nursing facilities. Mary has dementia and requires 24-hour supervision. Lacking someone to care for her at home, it’s just not safe for her to live alone anymore.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act proposes significant cuts to Medicaid by capping the federal government’s participation with states. Contrary to what most believe, Medicaid is the primary payer of long-term services and supports. Medicare does not pay for these services long-term. Drastically cutting Medicaid will undermine the health, independence and economic security of millions of older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

This is why Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging are expressing our grave concern and ask Sen. Todd Young, Sen. Joe Donnelly and all who have a heart for these most at-risk Hoosiers to oppose any health care reform proposal that makes significant changes and cuts to Medicaid. 

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Kristen LaEace, CEO
Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging

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