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Posts Tagged ‘Elderly’

Kellyanne Conway says people who lose Medicaid should just find better jobs. It’s not that simple.

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

During a Fox & Friends interview Monday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested that, for the people who lose Medicaid coverage because of the more than $800 billion in cuts included in the Senate’s health care bill, the solution is as simple as finding a better job.

“Medicaid is intended for the poor, the needy, and the sick,” she said. “And what it has done is, under Obamacare, it has expanded the Medicaid pool of people who, quote, qualified beyond that. So if you have an able-bodied American who again is not poor, sick, needy?—?we’re not talking about the elderly who benefit, the children, the pregnant women, the disabled?—?if you’re able-bodied and you would like to go find employment and have employer-sponsored benefits, then you should be able to do that, and maybe you belong, as Secretary Price has made clear, in other places.”

But Conway’s talking point mischaracterizes the life circumstances of most Medicaid recipients, a majority of whom work low-income jobs that don’t offer health insurance and that keep them near the poverty line.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), 59 percent of Medicaid adults have jobs, and nearly 80 percent are part of working families. While many of those people might prefer to take advantage of employer-offered health care, a large percentage do not have that option. Only 46 percent of employers offer health care coverage, according to the latest KFF data.

Conway also ignored the fact that the Senate health care bill only requires insurance companies to pay for 58 percent of costs, a significant reduction from the standard under Obamacare. That means that low-income people kicked off Medicaid as a result of the Senate bill’s $800 billion in cuts would be required to pay much more out of pocket for their health care even if they can purchase private insurance.

It’s also not true that the Medicaid cuts included in the Senate health care bill wouldn’t have a negative impact on elderly people, children, pregnant women, or disabled people, as Conway suggested. By imposing per capita caps on benefits and eventually basing the amount of money states receive each year for Medicaid on the consumer price index (instead of inflation within the health care market, for instance), the Senate bill’s cuts will negatively impact all beneficiaries of the program, including the 35 percent who cite an illness or disability that prevents them from working.

Conway’s comments on Fox & Friends come the day after she appeared on This Week and flatly denied that the Senate bill’s $800 billion reduction in Medicaid spending constitutes a “cut.” Instead, she said the bill “slows the rate for the future, and it allows governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars.”

The administration’s misinformation is having an impact?—?a recent poll indicated less than 40 percent of Americans know that the health care plan being pushed by Republicans includes any Medicaid cuts.

This piece was originally published at ThinkProgress on June 26, 2017. Reprinted with permission. 

About the Author: Aaron Rupar is an editor at Think Progress. He came to DC from Minneapolis, where he wrote for the City Pages and Fox 9, among other outlets.

More Than Half of Elders, and 60% of Older Women, Face Economic Insecurity

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Laura ClawsonMore than half of people age 65 and older face the prospect of not having enough money to meet basic daily expenses while staying in their homes and communities, a new analysis (PDF) from Wider Opportunities for Women finds. We’re talking basic necessities here—renting a one-bedroom apartment or having a modest mortgage, basic food, health care, and transportation, and just $265 in miscellaneous monthly expenses for a single person.

Within the 52 percent of all elders struggling to get by, though, there’s a big gender gap—60 percent of women compared with 41 percent of men are economically insecure. The fact that women live longer and have more years to spend down their savings doesn’t help. But that’s not all. In retirement, as during their working years, women have lower incomes than men: “Elder men studied report typical annual incomes that are nearly 75% higher than the typical elder woman’s income ($24,300 compared to $14,000).” Women are more likely to be dependent on Social Security, and receive smaller Social Security payments than men. And, as in so many other things, women of color face greater struggles than white women: “[E]lder African-American women report median annual incomes of $12,000; both Asian and Hispanic women report median annual incomes that are less than one-half of the general male population’s median incomes at $10,100 and $9,600, respectively.”

These numbers underscore the incredible importance of Social Security, which provides, on average, 77 percent of older women’s income. They also raise a terrifying prospect: Pensions are becoming less common, but here we see how crucial they’ve been in keeping some seniors out of economic insecurity. What happens to a generation that’s forced to rely on Social Security, or whatever’s left of that after the various catfood commissions are done weakening it, and whatever savings people can cobble together despite stagnating wages and stock market crashes?

This blog originally appeared in Daily Kos Labor on March 29, 2012. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos. She has a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth College. From 2008 to 2011, she was senior writer at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

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