Long Term Care Profession Urges Senate to Oppose Graham-Cassidy Repeal and Replace Bill
Washington, D.C. — The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) President and CEO Mark Parkinson today issued the following statement regarding the Graham-Cassidy Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
“The latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act once again tries to solve the complicated question of health care reform by slashing hundreds of billions of dollars from the Medicaid program that funds essential care for the aged and disabled.
“The Medicaid cuts proposed in the Graham-Cassidy Bill –including a reduction in provider assessments that alone will result in billions of dollars less to long term care each year – are catastrophic. Reducing provider taxes will devastate state budgets, amounting to an average additional cut of nearly $200,000 per center each year.
“Medicaid already underfunds nursing center care by $7 billion annually. Skilled nursing centers across the country operate on razor thin margins. According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), total skilled nursing center margins are currently positive at 1.6%, while non-Medicare margins (e.g., Medicaid and commercial) are -2.0%. When combined with these Medicaid provisions, the Graham-Cassidy bill would force many nursing centers to close their doors.
“Drastic cuts to Medicaid also threaten access to home and community-based services, such as assisted living care. States may be forced to scale back these Medicaid waiver programs that offer the older adults and people with disabilities long term care in the setting best suited for their needs.
“There is no question that this bill will undermine care for vulnerable seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for their daily long term care. Most of the one million people who reside in nursing centers rely on Medicaid, as well as tens of thousands of seniors in America’s assisted living communities.
“As Baby Boomers increasingly need long term services and supports in coming years, our seniors deserve better than an unstable and underfunded safety net. We urge Senators to oppose this legislation and protect Medicaid access for seniors and people with disabilities.”
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 13,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.