The Trump Administration has proposed harmful changes that would change how the federal poverty level is calculated, effectively lowering the poverty threshold for seniors. With over 7 million older adults across the country already living in poverty and twice as many living just above the threshold, this change would be catastrophic for millions of seniors. It would hit even harder in California where the poverty levels among seniors are among the highest in the nation due to the high cost of living, and would be hardest for older women and people of color. The proposed changes would make it more difficult for older adults to qualify for important programs, such as Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California), Medicare low-income subsidies, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), all of which play a critical role in helping them meet their basic needs of food, shelter, health care and transportation.
Please join us in submitting your comments on how these changes would be detrimental to the seniors you work with and/or older adults and family members in your life. The Trump Administration needs all comments by Friday, June 21, 2019.
Stop the Trump Administration from Lowering the Poverty Threshold
Too many seniors who worked all their lives, cared for family members, and contributed to our society are struggling with poverty and economic insecurity and scrimping to pay for health care and food. Record numbers are becoming homeless. 7.1 million seniors are living in poverty and almost double that number economically insecure. Instead of helping, the Trump Administration has proposed harmful changes to the way the federal poverty line is calculated. This is a naked attempt to limit the number of people who can receive the help they need to meet their basic needs from various programs—many of which are programs seniors rely on for health care, food, and other basics.
If enacted, this rule would cause many more seniors to go hungry, become homeless, or lose health care services through Medicaid and other low-income programs. We cannot let the Trump Administration redefine poverty to exclude even more people who clearly need our support. The comment deadline is June 21. We urge you to comment using the resources below and join the conversation on social media using #RedefinePoverty.
Programs for older adults that would be impacted:
- Medicare low-income subsidies for prescription drug coverage
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Legal Services
- Senior Community Service Employment Program
- Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs