Lina Walker

Diabetes is on the rise among Americans 50 years and older, and trends among older Hispanics are particularly noteworthy, according to recently released government data that the AARP Public Policy Institute has incorporated into its interactive research and data visualization tool AARP DataExplorer.
Judge's Hand Hitting Mallet By Stethoscope And Justice Scale
Efforts to repeal the new health law continue. A new threat has emerged in the form of a court challenge, Texas v. United States, asserting the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down. With support from a recent brief filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), this challenge pierces the heart of the law’s core protections that were put in place to ensure older adults and people with preexisting conditions have access to comprehensive and affordable health care.
The June 5 release of the Medicare Trustees Report has triggered alarm bell-style media headlines. Dozens of news reports about Medicare’s worsening financial outlook have painted a bleak picture—some bleaker than others, with one boldface headline announcing, “Medicare will go broke three years earlier than expected.”
You might have thought that efforts to unravel the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were over, but newly proposed regulations and legislation are once again threatening to have similar harmful effects for older adults ages 50-64 who rely on individual market coverage.
Last week the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) sponsored a Solutions Forum on Capitol Hill (view recording HERE)  that put the spotlight on groundbreaking research showing how much social isolation—lack of meaningful contacts with others—costs the Medicare program.
A late-breaking attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) threatens to weaken critical federal consumer protections and raise costs for older Americans ages 50-64 who purchase health insurance coverage in the individual market. Tucked into the sweeping legislation known as the Graham-Cassidy bill are provisions allowing states to receive waivers from crucial consumer protections. Such waivers could allow insurance companies to increase costs for older consumers based on their health, preexisting conditions, and age–potentially putting health coverage out of financial reach for millions.
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The just-released Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), is very bad news for older adults. The bill would reduce financial assistance (premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies) and change rules on how much premiums can vary by age (age rating). As a result, people ages 50 to 64 would have to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums to buy health insurance in the individual (nongroup) market.
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The American Health Care Act (AHCA), H.R.1628, allows states to create high-risk pools for people with preexisting health conditions under certain circumstances. High-risk pools are supposed to provide access to health insurance for people who cannot get coverage in the individual (non-group) health insurance market. In a previous analysis, we noted that states have never funded high-risk pools adequately. The result: A small number of consumers paid very high premiums for skimpy coverage. Many others went without health insurance because they could not afford it.
Group of Diverse Multiethnic People Various Jobs Concept
People with health insurance through large employers may assume the outcome of the current health debate won’t affect them. But it can. To start, yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that 3 million people would lose employer-based insurance coverage as a result of changes proposed in the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But the bill’s harmful effects would reach far beyond those 3 million people; in fact, virtually everyone is vulnerable. Here’s how:
Did you know that over 3 million older adults ages 50-64 rely on Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credits to purchase health coverage? In fact, pre-ACA, almost half of them were uninsured.
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