Most of the conversations our politicians have been focusing on in regard to repealing and replacing Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act) are about Medical Assistance. This conversation will have huge impacts for older adults. In Minnesota for every dollar we spend in Medical Assistance the Federal Government matches it, dollar for dollar. For the Block Grant programs they are talking about, they would give Minnesota a block of money to address all those on Medical assistance, including those with chronic illness, mental health illness and children. Instead of Minnesota choosing where to spend money, there would be competition for every federal dollar Minnesota received, where today, that doesn't happen. Today, Minnesota get's to decide it's priorities. This federal match will likely be going away.
Minnesota has a considerable number of subsidized senior housing units, but it's still not enough! Today, when a senior applies for an apartment that accepts HUD Subsidies, there is a 2-3 year wait list. The current conversations about budgets reflect the thought that these programs need to be cut. With there already being an extraordinary wait list, if we cut these programs, where will these seniors go? They apply for these subsidized apartments because they cannot afford market rate apartments on their current income.
Elder Waver and CADI Waver
These programs subsidize health care services for older adults. These programs can be used in senior housing buildings for health care services or for home care in their own home. With the cuts in Medical Assistance, it will effect the availability of these programs. The draft proposal reflects Minnesota losing 1.3 Billion Dollars in 2019. Today there is extreme pressure on the system with the existing demand. With the exploding senior population the demand is going to increase during the time we are cutting funds and services to serve them. There is already a shortage of services and caregivers. In 2020 when there will be 1 in 5 of our population over the age of 65, we simply can't afford to cut these services.
Call your Representative
Whether you're a Democrat or Republican we hope you'll help be an advocate for our older adults.