Answers on Aging for Professionals
April 7, 2011

GOP bets voters will choose fiscal well-being over health care safety net
Los Angeles Times
House Republicans' ambitious plan to cut $5.8 trillion in federal spending over the next decade is built on a politically risky revival of the longtime GOP quest to scale back the health care safety net and hand consumers primary responsibility for controlling costs. The budget resolution recently unveiled by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., would dramatically improve the nation's overall fiscal picture, reducing deficits projected in President Barack Obama's budget and moving the federal government into surplus by 2040, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.More

US panel suggests research into causes and prevalence of health issues facing gays
The New York Times
The federal government should systematically collect demographic data on gay, lesbian and transgender people and should conduct biomedical research to understand why they are more likely to have certain chronic conditions, the National Academy of Sciences said recently. More

Brief federal shutdown wouldn't faze Medicare, Medicaid
NPR via Kaiser Health News
If the current budget standoff on Capitol Hill leads to a shutdown of the federal government April 8, recipients of the Medicare and Medicaid health programs won't have to worry — at least not for a while. That's the official word from the Office of Management and Budget, where officials have been rushing to plan for what will and won't remain operating in the federal government in case Congress fails to pass a spending bill by the end of the week.More

Social Security suspends annual statements
U.S. News & World Report
The Social Security Administration recently has decided to stop mailing annual Social Security statements to workers to save money. Suspending mailings for all workers over age 25 beginning this month is expected to save approximately $30 million in fiscal year 2011 and $60 million in 2012.More

Medicare Advantage repayments to rise 0.4 percent
U.S. health insurers offering private Medicare Advantage plans will see an average net 0.4 percent increase in federal reimbursements next year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said recently. The increase is lower than the 1.6 percent net increase proposed in February by the agency that runs the nation's health insurance plan for the elderly and disabled.More

Aging Policy Agenda 4/7

Aging Policy Briefing Tentative Agenda

On April 11, the 17th annual n4a Aging Policy Briefing and Capitol Hill Day will take place in Washington, D.C.,regardless of whether the federal government is open for or not. Travelers should not expect major disruptions and we expect most Capitol Hill offices will remain open for your visits with lawmakers and their staff.

We have an exciting two days full of policy sessions on the current budget debates, emerging threats to Medicaid HCBS and Medicare, ACA implementation opportunities, OAA reauthorization and much more. And, on Monday morning, we also have the bonus pre-APB session on the role of AAAs in care transitions that you will not want to miss. There is still time to register!

National Center on Elder Abuse webcast
You are invited to attend a NCEA/NAPSA webcast at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 14, on Successful Elder Abuse Coalitions Share Lessons Learned. The speakers for this webcast will be Mary Lynn Kasunic, president and CEO of Area Agency on Aging, Region One, in Phoenix, and Pamela B. Teaster, Ph.D., professor and director of the Graduate Center for Gerontology at the University of Kentucky. Click here to register.More

New survey shows 5 million rides delivered to seniors in 2010
Beverly Foundation
The Beverly Foundation's 2011 STAR Search survey of transportation services that provide rides to older adults is complete. The survey revealed that thousands of seniors received millions of rides by hundreds of low-cost services.More

When ailments pile up, asking patients to rethink free dialysis
The New York Times
Of all the terrible chronic diseases, only one — end-stage kidney disease — gets special treatment by the federal government. A law passed by Congress 39 years ago provides nearly free care to almost all patients whose kidneys have failed, regardless of their age or ability to pay.More

An older generation falls prey to eating disorders
Well via The New York Times
Experts say that while eating disorders are first diagnosed mainly in young people, more and more women are showing up at their clinics in midlife or even older. Some had eating disorders early in life and have relapsed, but a significant minority first develops symptoms in middle age.More

Insulin could be Alzheimer's therapy
Science Daily
A low dose of insulin has been found to suppress the expression in the blood of four precursor proteins involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new clinical research by University at Buffalo endocrinologists. "Our results show clearly that insulin has the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's, for which no satisfactory treatment is currently available," says Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D., U.B.More

These are not your grandpa's hearing aids
USA Today
The clunky, whistling hearing aids of previous generations have been retired. New models are sophisticated devices that eliminate feedback, sharpen hearing in the presence of background noise and are invisible, or nearly so.More

For patients with dementia, an ancient comfort
The New Old Age via The New York Times
You can see the logic. Old people with dementia can become frightened and restless, angry or agitated. Reiki, a Japanese healing practice that supposedly channels a universal energy, is said to be soothing and deeply relaxing. So why not offer reiki to elderly dementia patients?More