Business and Finance

Senior Lobby Updates

Weak federal oversight endangers health and safety of assisted living residents

GAO report shines a long-overdue light on Medicaid-funded assisted living. Federal funding of assisted living is large and growing, but to this point the federal government has not adequately ensured the quality of assisted living care. This lack of oversight has had tragic consequences for an unfortunately large number of older Americans. The GAO report was requested by a bipartisan group of senators, and its publication should prompt Congress

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ALTSA – MILLIMAN- LTSS FEASIBILITY STUDY OF POLICY OPTIONS FOR LONG TERM SERVICES AND CARE

Why support the Long-Term Care Trust Act? At some point, most of us will need some extra assistance as we age. Unfortunately, almost no one is saving enough to pay for the long-term care we need. With a rapidly expanding senior population, we need to address this growing financial crisis facing Washington’s families. The Long-Term Care Trust Act, can fix this problem. This bill creates a funding system that would help workers and retirees pay for

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Why Your Pharmacist Can’t Tell You That $20 Prescription Could Cost Only $8

As consumers face rapidly rising drug costs, states across the country are moving to block “gag clauses” that prohibit pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash for prescription drugs rather than using their health insurance. Many pharmacists have expressed frustration about such provisions in their contracts with the powerful companies that manage drug benefits for insurers and employers. The clauses force

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Here Are the Places That Struggle to Meet the Rules on Safe Drinking Water

To ensure that tap water in the United States is safe to drink, the federal government has been steadily tightening the health standards for the nation’s water supplies for decades. But over and over again, local water systems around the country have failed to meet these requirements. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that, since 1982, between 3 and 10 percent of the country’s

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Care Suffers as More Nursing Homes Feed Money Into Corporate Webs

Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Memphis is part of a chain of businesses that produced $145 million in revenue over eight years, from which the owners and their families’ trusts took 28 percent in distributions. In what has become an increasingly common business arrangement, owners of nursing homes outsource a wide variety of goods and services to companies in which they have a financial interest or that they control. Nearly three-quarters

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Population of Americans with Alzheimer’s will more than double by 2060, UCLA study shows

About 15 million Americans will have either Alzheimer’s dementia or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, up from approximately 6.08 million this year, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The findings highlight the need to develop measures that could slow the progression of the disease in people who have indications of neuropathological changes that could eventually lead to Alzheimer’s dementia,

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Gov Inslee Urges State Congressional Delegation to Reject GOP Tax Plan

Governor Inslee sent a letter November 14, 2017 to the Washington State congressional delegation urging them to reject the Republication tax proposals being rushed through Congress.  The governor's letter, and a twelve-page memo that accompanied it, detailed a number of ways the tax plan would adversely impact Washington State. Open letter by clicking the link below:   http://www.waseniorlobby.org/wp-content/uploads/Letter-from-Gov-1.pdf

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Toast for dinner? Senior malnutrition: a silent epidemic

My elderly parents often resort to making toast when no one is around to make meals for them. Once a week, my sister will bring them over to her house for a big meal and send them home with leftovers. Other days my brother brings them a steady stream of casseroles. But on the days that no one stops by, it’s just them and the toaster. And sometimes they can’t even manage toast.   http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/article184675603.html

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OIC and Washington Health Benefit Exchange Market Stabilization Project

Washington state's individual health insurance market has seen a trend of increasing premiums and insurance companies pulling back from offering health plans in certain counties. As a result, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange engaged the actuarial firm Wakely to do an analysis of state-based options to stabilize the individual market for 2019. The analysis focused on two reinsurance program

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TVW Air Schedule for 2017 Senior Foundation Fall Conference

TVW is airing the 2017 Senior Foundation Fall Conference this week every day at 6 pm throughout the week (Oct 30 to Nov 5).  After this week, the broadcast of the Conference will occur periodically throughout the month of November.   This is the link to the TVW schedule          

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2017 Fall Conference Recap

The Washington State Senior Citizens’ Foundation held their 2017 Fall Conference on Thursday October 19, 2017 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA.   We had 380 people including speakers attend the 2017 Fall Conference. Thank you for your support for the 2017 Fall Conference. We could not sponsor such a successful conference of this size and complexity without the Sponsorships, the Volunteers, the Speakers, the Attendance and the Participation of

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Family of 4 needs $76,000 just to ‘scrape by’ in Seattle, new UW report says

The amount a family of four needs to scrape by in Seattle has risen 86 percent since 2001, and has increased at more than twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index. Diana Pearce has been calculating these basic-needs thresholds — it’s called the Self-Sufficiency Standard — since 2001. At that time, the state workforce programs, which help unemployed people become self-sufficient, had set a uniform wage goal for the whole state.   https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/report-family-of-4-needs-76000-just-to-scrape-by-in-seattle/

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Gov. Inslee and Ins. Commissioner Kreidler to WA Congressional Delegation

This is a letter from Governor Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Kreidler to the Washington Congressional Delegation urging them to to oppose the proposed Cassidy-Graham legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  This letter outlines the  dramatic adverse impacts this legislation would have on our State. Inslee-Kreidler ltr to Delegation re Cassidy-Graham repeal bill

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ALTSA’s 2018 Request Legislation fact sheets

At the Lobby October meeting, Kristi Knudsen/ Legislative & Policy Analyst / Office of the Assistant Secretary, Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, presented ALTSA's 2018 Request Legislation. 2018 DSHS Fact Sheet Unexpected Death of Sole Provider   2018 DSHS Agency Request Fact Sheet -Evacuation Standards   2018 DSHS-ALTSA Agency Request Fact Sheet -Willful Fact Sheet

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New Medicare cards are on the way

Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status.   https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/05/new-medicare-cards-are-way

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Nine Organizations Provide Assistance For Health Insurance Customers

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced the nine lead organizations chosen to oversee in-person assistance provided to Washington residents during the upcoming open enrollment period scheduled to begin on Nov. 1. “Given the uncertainty currently surrounding healthcare, the support and communication these organizations provide is especially essential,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Their outreach

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Gov Inslee names Cheryl Strange secretary of DSHS

Gov. Jay Inslee has named Cheryl Strange secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services. Strange has served as chief executive officer of Western State Hospital since April 2016. Strange replaces acting DSHS secretary Bill Moss. “DSHS serves many of our state’s most vulnerable adults and children. Cheryl brings the strategic management skills needed to head up this agency, and also works with an inspiring level of compassion and care,”

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Washington AG Ferguson sues Trump EPA over Chemical Disaster Rule

// // // // // // The Trump administration has repeatedly blocked a key industry safety measure -- the Chemical Disaster Rule -- from going into effect. Eleven attorneys general including Washington AG Bob Ferguson are headed to federal court to un-block it. The rule stems from a Texas disaster -- the West Fertilizer Plant explosion that killed 12 first responders -- and was influenced by the 2010 Tesoro refinery explosion in Anacortes that killed

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Blame flies as Washington Legislature adjourns 3rd special session

  Amid disagreements and accusations of game-playing, a two-year capital budget that would have spent more than $4 billion on projects across the state failed to get through.   http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/blame-flies-as-washington-legislature-adjourns-3rd-special-session/

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Legislative update: Inslee signs historic budget that fully funds education & Paid Family Leave

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the two year operating budget Friday night as the fiscal year came to a close. “I am proud to sign a historic budget that fully funds our schools for the first time in more than 30 years,” Inslee said. “This budget, at long last, meets our constitutional obligations to fully fund basic education, and addresses the responsibilities we have under the McCleary decision to equitably fund our schools.” The governor was joined

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