2017 Press Releases

AGS Remains Deeply Troubled by Tax Reform Bill and its Impact on Older Americans

With Congressional vote expected early next week, experts at AGS continue to voice concerns about how tax reform bill lacked transparency in development and could jeopardize care for us all as we age.

New York (Dec. 15, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) continues to voice strong opposition to the Tax Cuts and Job Acts, the tax reform bill that could jeopardize care for millions of older adults and caregivers if it passes a Congressional vote planned for early next week. Since developing their own plans earlier this fall, House and Senate leaders have been working to reconcile independent versions of their proposals, neither of which have been open to considerable public comment or scrutiny. While it remains unclear what will be included in the final tax reform proposal, the AGS remains concerned that several flawed proposals under serious consideration could curtail supports for millions of older Americans and threaten important gains securing health coverage for us all, according to independent analyses.

AGS Troubled by Senate Tax Reform Bill and its Impact on Older Americans

Following passage of the Senate tax reform proposal, experts at the AGS continue to voice serious concerns about how the proposal could jeopardize care for us all as we age.

New York (Dec. 4, 2017)—Disappointed by Senate passage of a tax reform proposal that could curtail critical supports for older Americans and threaten important gains securing health coverage for more Americans, experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) continued to voice strong opposition to the bill and its impact on millions of older adults and caregivers.

“We remain deeply concerned about the impact of this flawed proposal—not only on federal programs important to older Americans but also on the availability of high-quality, person-centered, and affordable health care for us all as we age,” noted AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “We at the AGS will continue to work tirelessly for solutions that can improve health, independence, and quality of life for all older Americans—despite the absence of these goals in the present proposal.”

Report from NIA-Sponsored Conference Asks: What Don’t We Know About Bladder Control, Why Does It Matter?

The answer lies not only in prioritizing under-researched yet increasingly prevalent conditions like urinary incontinence but also in addressing such concerns in the broader context of high-quality and evidence-based health care for older adults.

New York (Dec. 4, 2017)—Nearly 40 percent of older women and up to 35 percent of older men live with distressing urinary symptoms, including difficulty with bladder control and urinating (sometimes known as “voiding”), which often compromise quality of life and overall health. The lack of truly effective and safe therapies for these challenges stems from insufficient knowledge of the biological mechanisms for urinary control, the impact of aging and disease on urinary control, and the relationships of symptoms to urinary health and overall well-being, so say researchers reporting on a prestigious conference hosted by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and funded by a grant from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) to George A. Kuchel, MD, FRCP, AGSF, Director of the UConn Center on Aging and Travelers Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology at UConn Health.

A summary report published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society emphasizes that the conference—the third in a series on common geriatric syndromes like incontinence, delirium, and sleep disturbances—holds promise for pin-pointing gaps in knowledge and building a better research agenda to improve care for us all as we age.

Tax Reform Proposal Has Serious Implications for Older Americans

The AGS expresses concern on eve of a House vote on a tax reform bill, which could impact care for us all as we age.

New York (Nov. 16, 2017)—Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) advised members of Congress that the U.S. House of Representative’s tax reform bill (the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” or H.R. 1) would result in automatic cuts to key federal programs, including a $25 billion cut to the Medicare program in 2018 as a result of existing Congressional “pay-go” rules. Pay-go rules require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make automatic cuts to mandatory spending when the deficit hits a certain level. With 55 million people already relying on Medicare for their well-being, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) opposes any legislative proposal that would reduce access to Medicare for us all as we age.

While debate continues in the House, the U.S. Senate is also working on its own version of a tax reform bill (also known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” as is H.R. 1 in the House of Representatives). Both the House and Senate proposals are projected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years—and, under pay-go rules, the proposed deficit spending would trigger automatic cuts of $136 billion from mandatory spending programs in 2018. 

Following Presidential Action to Alter Current Law, AGS Renews Call for Bipartisan Collaboration

New York (Oct. 13, 2017)—Presidential action to alter current law risks undermining progress made by Congress, the American people, and a cadre of healthcare stakeholders to improve care access, care quality, and care costs for us all as we age, so say experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) evaluating recent orders by the Trump Administration. The actions in question—one announcing non-specific priorities to increase competition and another terminating cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) serving Americans in poverty—take aim at the Affordable Care Act (ACA) following several flawed unilateral attempts to repeal or replace the law.

“In bypassing Congress and bipartisan collaboration, these executive actions cut the American people out of the health reform process while also effectively jeopardizing benefits, increasing costs, and reducing coverage for too many of us,” said Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. “We continue to offer our support and expertise to the many bipartisan legislators and experts working across the aisle on proposals that would give us all the opportunity to make open, informed decisions about a better health system.”