Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

The Surprising Secret to Aging Well

As an occupational therapist and someone in my early 90s, here’s what I recommend to age well: good posture and a brisk 30-minute walk daily from early childhood on. This builds bone density and balance reflexes that reduce the impact of falls and injuries in later years.   http://www.nextavenue.org/the-surprising-secret-to-aging-well/?hide_newsletter=true&utm_source=Next+Avenue+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7bc7aab613-01.27.2016_NextAvenue_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_056a405b5a-7bc7aab613-165432893&mc_cid=7bc7aab613&mc_eid=0b4e32ebad

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Many See I.R.S. Penalties as More Affordable Than Insurance

Two years after the Affordable Care Act began requiring most Americans to have health insurance, 10.5 million who are eligible to buy coverage through the law’s new insurance exchanges were still uninsured this fall, according to the Obama administration. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/us/many-see-irs-fines-as-more-affordable-than-insurance.html

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Health Reform Realities

Health reform is the signature achievement of the Obama presidency. It was the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare was established in the 1960s. It more or less achieves a goal — access to health insurance for all Americans — that progressives have been trying to reach for three generations. And it is already producing dramatic results, with the percentage of uninsured Americans falling to record lows. Obamacare is, however,

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How to Live to 100: Researchers Find New Genetic Clues

In a new analysis, researchers explore whether people live longer because they avoid disease or because they possess some anti-aging secret   http://time.com/4153835/live-longer-genetic-clues/?xid=emailshare

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Don’t Blame Medicaid for Rise in Health Care Spending

Health care spending growth has moderated in recent years, but it’s still putting tremendous strain on state and local governments. A recent analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that it consumed 31 percent of state and local government revenue in 2013, nearly doubling from 1987. But Medicaid — the state-based health care program for low-income Americans — is not the chief culprit.   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/upshot/dont-blame-medicaid-for-rise-in-health-care-spending.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20150804&nl=upshot&nlid=71924083&ref=headline&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1

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Families face tough decisions as cost of elder care soars.

Like others faced with the stunning cost of elderly care in the U.S., Goldblum did the math and realized that her mother could easily outlive her savings. So she pulled her out of the home. For the two-thirds of Americans over 65 who are expected to need some long-term care, the costs are increasingly beyond reach. The cost of staying in a nursing home has climbed at twice the rate of overall inflation over the last five years, according to the insurer

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Seniors Decide 2016

Seniors Decide 2016 is a forum developed by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations to provide a fair and unbiased platform for sharing the views of candidates for President of the United States on policies and programs affecting older Americans. The 72 member organizations that make up the LCAO represent a diverse membership of older Americans and their caregivers, and professionals engaged in the public policy arena. IF YOU COULD ASK THE

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U.S. needs to rethink use of public lands for coal mining

Pausing to reassess federal coal sales was a wise move by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. INTERIOR Secretary Sally Jewell’s decision to pause and reassess leasing of federal land for coal mining is a smart move with implications for her home state of Washington. The United States is overdue in updating land-management policies to be sure the public gets the best possible return on resources that it sells to companies, whether they are in the business

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Is It Better to Die in America or in England?

WE frequently hear complaints about how people near the end of life are treated in America. Patients are attached to tubes and machines and subjected to too many invasive procedures. Death occurs too frequently in the hospital, rather than at home, where the dying can be surrounded by loved ones. And it is way too expensive. Each year, the care of dying seniors consumes over 25 percent of Medicare expenditures. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/opinion/is-it-better-to-die-in-america-or-in-england.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&moduleDetail=inside-nyt-region-1&module=inside-nyt-region®ion=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region

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Age Is an Asset: Let’s Use It

Wake up and smell the demographics. Our society is aging. What an opportunity! We get to create the world we want to live in as we grow older.   To me that’s a world in which older-adult elders can contribute their talents and ideas at work, home and in society, and not be left on the sidelines. It’s vitally important. There are 72 million boomers. Together, we represent an unprecedented increase in older human capital asset. It’s an

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Editorial: Bet on bill to steer veterans to legal help

If you are of a betting persuasion, take the odds on swift legislative action on bills that will help Washington veterans find free legal representation. The measures, HB 2496 and SB 6300, are modeled after a pioneering program in Nevada that assisted its first clients last year. The idea was hatched by that state’s attorney general, Adam Paul Laxalt, a former U.S. Navy judge advocate general. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/jan/16/bet-on-bill-to-steer-veterans-to-legal-help/

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Cardiologist Invents Device to Help Prevent Stroke

The idea of having a stroke is terrifying. But what if your doctor had an easy and inexpensive way to screen whether you were at increased risk and needed treatment right away? This will soon be an option thanks to the palm-size device above. This cardiac rhythm monitor from Washington-based Cardiac Insight can detect atrial fibrillation—an abnormal heart rhythm that can significantly elevate stroke risk if untreated.   http://www.lsdfa.org/documents/2069864.LSDF_story_linker.pdf

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Phone Scams Against the Elderly

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on the increase in the number of unwanted telephone calls, often pressure-laden scams, targeting the elderly. These types of calls had increased, despite the enactment of laws allowing consumers to opt out of unsolicited telephone marketing calls. http://www.c-span.org/video/?326507-1/hearing-unwanted-telephone-calls-scams

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Retirement Security Crisis

We have a retirement security crisis in America that threatens the middle class and people working their way into it. Americans are less prepared for retirement today than in decades and the overwhelming majority of people are anxious about their ability to retire. http://www.waseniorlobby.org/wp-content/uploads/WHCoA_One_Pager.pdf

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Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging & Disability Issues – 2015 Addendum Report
washington seal

This document comprises the first requirement of the Committee: an addendum report due to the legislature by December 10, 2015. The second requirement mandates that the Committee issue final recommendations by December 10, 2016. As required by ESSB 6052, the addendum report to the legislature must include the following: 1. A description of the oversight role for Residential Care Services, the Long-Term Care Ombuds, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

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Dental group defends mercury fillings amid mounting evidence of risks

For decades, the American Dental Association has resolutely defended the safety of mercury fillings in the teeth of more than 100 million Americans, even muzzling dentists who dared to warn patients that such fillings might make them sick. The association has lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the fillings, which contain one of the world’s most menacing toxins, receive a government seal of safety and wouldn’t be tightly regulated.

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State elected officials write in support of Skagit County nursing homes

State elected officials have voiced support for the skilled nursing homes in Skagit County, requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services adjust the county’s wage index. The wage index in part determines reimbursement rates for care provided by the nursing homes. The requested adjustment would mean the reimbursement rates would increase. http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/state-elected-officials-write-in-support-of-skagit-county-nursing/article_8647da13-e36f-5e37-8069-647016b9c97e.html

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Major changes coming for Medicare this year

Whether it’s coverage for end-of-life counseling or an experimental payment scheme for common surgeries, Medicare in 2016 is undergoing some of the biggest changes in its 50 years. Grandma’s Medicare usually just paid the bills as they came in. Today, the nation’s flagship health care program is seeking better ways to balance cost, quality and access.   http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/jan/04/major-changes-coming-for-medicare-this-year/

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Washington State Budget Update From 2015 Senior Lobby Fall Conference
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Schumacher Budget Update Presentation

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State dentists lobby is blocking low-cost care

Dental health for the poor is a big problem in Washington state. Some see dental therapists — licensed professionals who can perform simple procedures — as a route to less expensive care. But the powerful state dentists association has thwarted efforts to allow the therapists. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/washington-dentists-lobby-is-blocking-low-cost-care/

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