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New National Study Spotlights Importance of Federal Medicare Funding to Propping-Up Seniors' Deteriorating State Medicaid Benefits and Services
Date:12/8/2009

Amid Historic Recession and State Fiscal Crises, Analysis Finds $4.7 Billion Gap Between Medicaid Payments and Actual Seniors' Care Costs

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Highlighting the importance of robust federal Medicare funding for seniors and the long-term care providers they depend upon, a new Eljay LLC analysis of the nation's deteriorating Medicaid financing system projects states will cumulatively under fund the actual cost of providing quality long-term care by nearly $4.7 billion for 2009. In the context of ongoing health care reform, the Chair of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) said adequate Medicare funding in a final bill is "a literal lifeline" to the nation's oldest, most vulnerable seniors.

"As the already vast gap between the actual cost of providing quality eldercare and what the Medicaid program actually finances continues to grow, Medicare-funded nursing home care increasingly serves as a literal lifeline to providers and the 1.7 million U.S. seniors under our care," stated Robert Van Dyk, the AHCA Chair. "With so many of the nation's Governors forced to freeze or cut vulnerable seniors' Medicaid benefits and services due to catastrophic budget shortfalls - projected to grow still worse - ensuring robust Medicare funding in a final health reform bill is increasingly critical."

Van Dyk praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other key leaders for recognizing and beginning to act upon the Medicaid funding crisis plaguing seniors' eldercare needs. "The Nursing Facility Supplemental Payment Program contained within the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R.3962), represents a first step in acknowledging the nation's chronic Medicaid underfunding crisis - which we now know shortchanges seniors' nursing home care more by nearly $4.7 billion annually." He continued, however, to express concern with the level of cuts to Medicare-funded nursing home care
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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