Currently, Medicaid pays for about two-thirds of the 1.4 million elderly people in nursing homes.
The Legislative Branch is currently debating the dramatic cuts to Medicaid, in addition to many other public service programs currently up for extermination. Many feel that this isn’t a problem that will affect them since they have private insurance or are middle-class. But what will happen to older Americans in nursing homes if these cuts take effect?
Under current federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to cover nursing home care. State officials decide how much to pay facilities, and states under budgetary pressure could decrease the amount they are willing to pay or restrict eligibility for coverage. This means that families will be forced to pay the rest, or the type of care grandma receives will be greatly diminished. This is not just a poor person problem, roughly 64% of all Americans in nursing homes currently depend on Medicaid, this includes people who were middle class at retirement, but who’s longer than expected life-span or high medical bills took more than they budgeted for, leaving them completely dependent on the Government for daily aide.
No one wants to imagine their grandparents living in sub-standard facilities with sub-standard nurses and doctors. Nor can many families commit to moving their elderly family members in with them and providing the around-the-clock care they will require. This leaves the only option, these working families will have to come up with the extra money to supplement what Medicaid will no longer cover, often foregoing saving for their own retirement in the process.
Contact your congressperson to express your wishes to them!
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