Medicare

Activist Rally To Oppose 2018 Federal Budget

Aug 31, 2017

Faith leaders and community activists gathered Wednesday evening to rally against the federal budget soon up for consideration in Congress. The group is worried about deep cuts to federal health care programs.

Members of Congress will return to Washington next week to consider the 2018 budget.  And about 250 people who attended an Indianapolis rally urged them to reject plans to slash health care spending over the next decade. The Rev. Derrick Slack is one of the attendees.

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Elliot Englert / for Side Effects Public Media

The public has weighed in on Indiana’s proposal to add a work requirement to its unique Medicaid program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0.  More than 40 people submitted their opinions to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as of July 18, showing overwhelming disapproval of the proposal.

C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.

Sima Dimitric / https://www.flickr.com/photos/simajr/

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate as many as 45 percent of nursing home residents’ visits to the hospital are potentially avoidable. In an effort to discover how to reduce the potentially harmful transfers, the federal agency has been working with 19 Indiana nursing homes to develop a new model of care, prevention and reimbursement.

The so-called OPTIMISTIC study is funded by CMS and began in 2013. Geriatrician and study author Kathleen Unroe says nursing home residents are high-risk patients.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence wants the Obama administration to halt an evaluation of the HIP 2.0 program, arguing that the contractor chosen by the federal government is biased against Indiana’s healthcare program. 

The federal waiver Indiana received earlier this year to operate HIP 2.0 requires the state to hire an independent evaluator for the program.  The state did so months ago and that evaluation is ongoing. 

Purdue President Mitch Daniels says for the United States to prosper, spending on entitlements must be reined in soon. He was one of several people who spoke at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The forum looked at the costs and impacts of entitlement programs on future generations, and possible reforms and solutions available. 

Daniels says government spending on Social Security and Medicare leaves less money for such things as university research, which in turn hurts the national economy.

Indiana organizations are partnering with a national campaign to get the word out about benefits available for senior citizens.

The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA) is helping to provide information as part of the You Gave, Now Save program. C.E.O. Kristen LaEace says too many Hoosiers are missing out.