SAN DIEGO AND WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 23, 2017 – Dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services, West Health disagrees with the President’s Fiscal 2018 budget that reforms and reduces Medicaid funding to states.
“With Medicaid paying for more than half of all of the long-term services and supports used by low-income seniors, it is critical that funding for these programs be maintained,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health. “The Administration and Congress must recognize the devastating impact these funding cuts would have on vulnerable seniors especially as the aging population continues to grow.”
According to Meals on Wheels America, the budget proposal “calls for funding cuts that would widen the already existing gap between seniors receiving nutritious meals and those who desperately need this lifeline.”
Currently, 9.6 million seniors are facing the threat of hunger, and 15.2 million living alone in isolation, programs such as Meals on Wheels are critical for maintaining the health and well-being of low-income seniors. They build important relationships with meal recipients and are usually the first person to observe health status changes that could lead to more serious issues, and to routinely report any issues to caregivers or healthcare providers.
“As this budget proposal moves through Congress, West Health welcomes the opportunity to engage with policymakers on these vital issues to ensure the needs of low-income seniors across the country are being met,” Lyford said.
About the West Health Institute and West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. These organizations are working together toward a shared mission dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. For more information, visit westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.
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