A message from the American Society on Aging:

I’m writing today with an urgent request. The new President and the new Congress are moving quickly to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and major cuts to and restructuring of Medicaid and Medicare may not be far behind. We must make our voices heard to let policymakers know that these changes will hurt older Americans and people with disabilities.

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), of which ASA is a member, is organizing call-in days next Tuesday and Wednesday, January 31 and February 1. This is an opportunity for you to contact your Senators and Representatives to let them know of your concerns about preserving these major programs. To participate, dial 866-426-2631. You’ll hear a brief overview of the issues, and then be asked to enter your zip code to be connected with your legislators.

While you’re welcome to address the issues with the perspectives and concerns that are most important to you, here are some suggested talking points. You should feel free to modify these in any way that best meets your own priorities and viewpoints:

No repeal of the ACA without simultaneous replacement
If Congress votes to repeal the ACA, a replacement package that provides equivalent or improved access to affordable, quality health coverage must be included in the same legislation.

No cuts to and restructuring ( block granting) of Medicaid
Older people and people with disabilities account for two-thirds of Medicaid spending. The program is the primary public source of funding for long-term services and supports. Program cuts, along with block grant or per capita cap proposals would hurt people who have no alternative means of paying for essential services.

Preserve Medicare for current and future older people and people with disabilities
Medicare is a huge success story, with strong support from all Americans. Please oppose Premium support or any proposal to shift more costs onto beneficiaries or make health care far less affordable and accessible to older people and people with disabilities.

We are facing a potentially enormous threat to programs and services that millions of Americans have relied upon for decades. I hope that you will be able to invest a few minutes of your valuable time to share your concerns with lawmakers on one of these two days.

With appreciation,
Bob Blancato
Chair, ASA Board of Directors