Full enactment of the Affordable Care Act will make health care for low income older adults more accessible, affordable and of higher quality. Much of NSCLC’s work in 2011 is meant to ensure the Act’s effective implementation, especially in areas where the elderly poor are affected.
NSCLC has a long history of opposing judicial activism. In that tradition, the Federal Rights Project continues its leading role in fighting serious and potentially dangerous challenges to the health reform law in the courts.
The ACA contains key elements that will benefit all seniors such as closing the Medicare Part D donut hole and annual wellness visits, but there are parts of the law targeted to helping low income older adults in particular.
- Medicaid funding begins this year for providing more long term care at home versus in a nursing home. In keeping with the spirit of the 1999 Supreme Court Olmstead ruling, NSCLC is working with both the federal government and states to renew efforts to encourage less institutionalization.
- Better quality of care for close to nine million seniors and persons with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles). NSCLC is working closely with the new Office of Duals to help it deal with multiple challenges related to coordination and quality of care.
If the state challenges to the individual mandate and ultimately the constitutionality of the ACA succeed, the result would be the denial of health coverage to nearly half of all older adults between age 55 and 64. The stakes are high. NSCLC will continue its efforts to protect the right of all older adults to affordable and accessible health care.