Advocates push for politicians to keep seniors in mind in new administration

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)'s second confirmation hearing for HHS secretary will be held Tuesday.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)'s second confirmation hearing for HHS secretary will be held Tuesday.

With the future of the Affordable Care Act and President Donald Trump's nominee for top health official awaiting confirmation, one group is urging lawmakers to bear seniors' healthcare needs in mind as they reshape the country's policy landscape.

In two articles published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on Thursday, AGS laid out aging-related policy priorities, as well as “geriatric tenets” for lawmakers to consider in the new administration.

Topping the list was keeping care patient-centered, rather than condition-centered, and ensuring access to long-term services and supports. AGS also recommended that any changes to healthcare delivery and reimbursements systems should be evidence-based. It said it supports “living wages” for the elder care workforce, along with improved employee training.

AGS also noted its opposition to changes to the Medicaid and Medicare programs “that would increase costs, reduce coverage, or cut benefits.”

Six recent proposals related to replacing the Affordable Care Act range from removing all Medicare-related ACA provisions, or leaving all of them, the Kaiser Family Foundation shared in a brief published last week.

Two of the replacement options, Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)'s American Health Care Reform Act and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)'s Empowering Patients First Act would repeal all Medicare-related ACA provisions. Price's second confirmation hearing for HHS Secretary is scheduled to be held by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Other plans, such as the one from Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), would repeal some Medicare provisions, Kaiser's report shows.