New Report Projects Proposed Medicaid Cuts Could Have Devastating Impact On Jobs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Contact: Jack Cardinal

Phone: (781) 960-5208


 $834 billion in proposed cuts could cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of home care jobs nationally

Boston, MA — The American Health Care Act (AHCA), now under debate in the U.S. Senate, contains cuts to Medicaid that could result in job losses as high as 700,000+ and hurt people who need long-term care, as well as their families, according to a new report released today by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst (the Center) and LeadingAge.

The report looks at the potential impact the AHCA’s $834 billion in cuts to Medicaid and per capita spending caps would have on the workforce that provides long-term services and supports (LTSS), which allow older people the choice of aging in their homes. The projected job losses would happen in every state in the country. The report provides state-by-state projections of the impact of 15, 25 and 35 percent cuts to Medicaid-supported LTSS, with estimates as high as 700,000+ jobs lost nationally from a 35 percent funding cut.  

“Caps and cuts to Medicaid will have a significant impact on families that are struggling to provide the best care possible for their aging loved ones,” said Marc Cohen, research director for the Center and co-director of the LeadingAge LTSS Center at UMass Boston. “The loss of jobs in the home care sector that would result from Medicaid caps would mean thousands of older adults losing their caregiver and the severing of a critical lifeline that gives older people across the country the power to choose where they age.”

For individuals who choose to age in their home, Medicaid can cover the cost of providing in-home care that helps with daily tasks like dressing, bathing and cooking. The cost of care that supports aging in place tends to be lower than nursing home care.

“We urge Senators to reject any cuts to Medicaid because of the devastating effect it would have on the millions of older adults whose lives literally depend on it,” stated Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge.

Home care work is one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is growing by roughly 7 percent per year. As the population ages, the demand for direct care workers is expected to grow by 25 percent. Unfortunately, the AHCA’s severe Medicaid cuts would put home care out of reach for many aging Americans by causing severe job losses in this important sector.

The report, including specific job loss projections for every state, can be found here.


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 About the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst is a hub devoted to teaching, learning and sharing knowledge to bring the consumer experience to the forefront of health innovation in order to deliver better care, better value and better health for every community, particularly vulnerable and historically underserved populations. The Center’s work is supported through investments in state and local advocacy, leadership development, research and evaluation, and consultative services to delivery systems and health plans. Visit healthinnovation.org or follow them on Twitter @CCEHI to learn more and follow their work.

 

About Leading Age

 

The mission of LeadingAge is to be the trusted voice for aging. Our 6,000+ members and partners include nonprofit organizations representing the entire field of aging services, 39 state associations, hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, foundations and research centers. LeadingAge is also a part of the Global Ageing Network, whose membership spans 30 countries. LeadingAge is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization focused on education, advocacy and applied research.