Let’s Take Action ~ Don’t Let the Trump Administration Lower the Poverty Limit

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. 


Below is some more information on the proposed changes from our partners, Justice in Aging, and a template for your comments. Submit them at regulations.gov.


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:

  • Medicaid
  • 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


Use our template comments to create your own comment to submit to Regulations.gov.

Join the conversation on Social Media using #RedefiningPoverty.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.