Letters to the Editor

Senate health care bill

leaves much to be desired

To the Journal editor:

Republican senators released their version of the House’s repeal and replace of Obama Care on June 22nd, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

From the perspective of the National Association of Elder Law Attorney, on which I served as a former board member, the provisions of this bill will financially hurt middle class and low-income seniors who face chronic illness and dementia, with the need for long-term care.

In fact, in several ways, the U.S. Senate’s version is even worse that the GOP’s House’s version by capping the federal government’s commitment through Medicaid for home-based and nursing house assistance and making it easier for states to recover a person’s home after they have passed. Keep in mind that Medicare only pays up to 100 days of nursing home care and the average stay in a nursing home is about two years.

Many of us cannot imagine the day when we can no longer care for ourselves, yet this day will come for most of us. The average nursing home cost in the Upper Peninsula ranges between $7,500-$9,500 per-month. The Senate’s bill also makes it easier for states to back away from providing Medicaid for home-based care-thus forcing more persons needing care into nursing homes.

The so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act is not better at all. Our U.S. senator should oppose. You may read NAELA’s position paper of June 23 on this topic by going to naela.org.

Robert Anderson

Elder law attorney