Currently, Medicaid covers nearly half (48%) of all nursing home costs. Proposed cuts in the Medicare and Medicaid system will seriously disadvantage those who now benefit from the programs, especially elderly women who comprise 75% of nursing home residents. Congress’ proposal would nullify guaranteed health care insurance for elderly, poor and disabled Americans and turn care into a voucher system.
The proposed changes to Medicare include an increase in premiums and a reduction in coverage. Congress plans to increase the premium rate by 50%, from $100 to $150. This would dangerously affect the roughly 75% of Medicare beneficiaries who receive less than $25,000 in annual income. Women compromise two-thirds of the persons on Medicare living below the poverty level and proposed changes would make health care unaffordable to many of them. Indeed, the increase in premiums would force many to request Medicaid benefits.