News/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.”

Latest Health Reform Proposal Jeopardizes Care for us All as we Age

Graham-Cassidy bill - newest proposal in a line of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will harm access to key health services for older Americans, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

New York (Sept. 20, 2017)— The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill, the most recent attempt at health reform and one that would again have harmful consequences for older adults. Released last week, the Graham-Cassidy bill would cut benefits, increase costs, and reduce coverage for too many Americans – especially older adults.

“The Graham-Cassidy bill will have a negative impact on us all as we age,” notes Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of the AGS. “The bill will make drastic changes to Medicaid resulting in deep cuts that will impact older adults’ access to long-term care, including nursing home care and home health care. We call on Congress to work with the American public and stakeholders to design health system reforms that improve access and care quality for all Americans.”

As an advocate for older Americans and the health professionals who serve them, the AGS is deeply concerned that the Senate will be voting on a legislative proposal that has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and has not been open to the public or stakeholder organizations for review and comment.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Four National Medical Societies and Nine Leading Health Systems Collaborate to Improve Geriatric Emergency Care

Initiative promoting innovation and shared learnings supported by $3 million grant from  The John A. Hartford Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute

New York (Sept. 13, 2017)—Four national medical societies and nine leading health systems announced today they have established a new national geriatric emergency department collaborative (GEDC) to help improve emergency care for our nation’s older adults.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) will work with a team of experts in geriatric emergency care to support health systems across the United States in identifying, studying and sharing best practices in emergency care for seniors, with about half of all older adults visiting the emergency department each year.

New Geriatrics Legislation Promises a Better Present and Future for Us All as We Age—AGS

New York (Sept. 11, 2017)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today offered a ringing endorsement of the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act (H.R. 3713), a proposal for programs addressing the shortage of health professionals equipped to care for us all as we age, as well as supports for older adults, caregivers, and the interdisciplinary teams responsible for delivering high-quality care. Introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), and David McKinley (R-W.V.), the bill draws on considerable insights from the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), a collaborative comprised of more than 30 member organizations co-convened by the AGS and now reflecting the diverse expertise of millions of professionals who support health in aging for older Americans.

“The future we’re working for at the AGS—a future where all older Americans have access to high-quality, person-centered care—begins by building the workforce to make it possible—and by ensuring that workforce can connect us to the tools and supports we need as we age,” notes AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. “We commend Reps. Schakowsky, Matsui, and McKinley for working with us and our partners to make that future a reality with the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act.”

Bipartisan Collaboration Opens Door to Strengthen Nation's Healthcare System, AGS

New York (August 7, 2017)—With renewed calls for bipartisan collaboration supporting high-quality, person-centered, and affordable health coverage for us all as we age, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today reached out to leaders from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to reinforce core priorities "that matter to the millions of older adults and caregivers who we serve in the clinic—and who you serve in Congress."

AGS Encourages Bipartisan Collaboration on Health Reform Proposals

New York (July 24, 2017)—With the U.S. Senate continuing to move forward with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) calls on Congressional leaders to work across the aisle and with stakeholders to develop policy proposals that will support the health and well-being of all Americans.

“Each of the proposed bills presently under consideration calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, the largest public payer for long-term care services and supports for older Americans. These cuts would negatively impact older Americans and those who care for them," notes AGS CEO Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “AGS remains opposed to the current slate of policy proposals.”

Like many other organizations, the AGS believes that Congress must invite stakeholder input, hold public hearings, and provide ample opportunity for feedback from the American public regarding policy proposals that will build on the gains made under the ACA. Any replacement plan should reduce regulatory burdens that detract from care and increase costs. It remains particularly important that proposed reforms: