Sixty Seconds Newsletter 
A Monthly Update from Senior Resources of West Michigan  
An Area Agency on Aging Serving Muskegon, Oceana & Ottawa counties
In This Issue
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National Area Agencies on Aging
Senior Advocates Coalition

The Senior Advocates Coalition (SAC) meets several times a year with state and federal lawmakers and their staff liaisons. 

The SAC will meet with federal legislative aides on Monday, March 12, from 1:30-3 p.m. in the conference room at Tanglewood Park, 560 Seminole Road, Muskegon. 

Check our website: www.seniorresourceswmi
.org/advocacy, to learn more.

Speak up! Anytime day or night. Report abuse and neglect.

Senior Resources' Elder Care Specialists are available to assist with Options for Long Term Care
Call: 231-733-3585
or Toll Free:  1-800-442-0054. In Oceana - 231-559-0331.
February 2018

Congress OKs temporary bipartisan budget deal

In Washington... Late last week, Congress approved a bipartisan budget deal to fund the government at current levels through March 23 to allow lawmakers more time to work out a full-year FY 2018 appropriations proposal. The deal also would lift the debt ceiling through March 2019, raising the overall discretionary spending caps by roughly $300 billion for FY 2018 and FY 2019. According to n4a, the increases in the budget caps for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs are $63 billion in FY 2018 (roughly a 12% boost) and $68 billion in FY 2019. (Preliminary details on the budget agreement indicate that roughly $45 billion of the $63 billion increase for NDD funding is already directed toward agreed-upon priorities, including opioid response, NIH funding, the Veterans Administration, etc.) Additionally, the measure will extend a number of health care programs, including a two-year extension of funding for AAAs, ADRCs and SHIPs to provide outreach and enrollment assistance to low-income Medicare beneficiaries (MIPPA).
According to USA Today the budget deal also will do the following:
  • Accelerate changes made by the Affordable Care Act to reduce the amount of out-of-pocket costs a senior has to pay for drug coverage. The "doughnut hole" in Medicare's drug benefit will be eliminated one year earlier than it would have been under the ACA.
  • Increase funding for community health centers, which serve lower-income patients
  • Delay Medicaid cuts to hospitals that serve large shares of poor people
  • Adds funds to repair and rebuild veterans' health clinics
  Congress now has six weeks to negotiate the details of a final FY 2018 federal funding omnibus bill, during which it will have to determine funding levels for individual agencies and line-items such as OAA and other aging programs. Further, it will likely have to address funding offsets to account for the overall $300 billion increase to both defense and non-defense spending caps, which n4a anticipates could prove problematic for some mandatory health care programs.

In Lansing... Governor Snyder unveiled his FY 2018-2019 budget to a joint meeting of the MI House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Feb. 7. T he budget provides for $4.1 billion to maintain support for the Healthy Michigan Plan, which expands Medicaid health coverage to over 650,000 otherwise uninsured adults with incomes below 138%  of the federal poverty level. The Federal government provides 93% of the program's funding while the state provides a $217.6 million general fund match. Medicaid (60%) and Behavioral Health Services (14%) account for 74% of the DHHS Budget while Adult and Community Services accounts for 1% of the budget. Overall, the budget for FY 2018-2019 for aging programs under the Medical Services section is fairly flat although the governor has proposed the following increases:
  • Adult home help - from $316,947,200 in FY 2017-2018 to $319,923,900 in FY 2018-2019
  • Integrated care organizations - from $185,712,300 to $201,080,800 in FY 2018-2019
  • Long term care - from $1,794,419,600 to $1,813,423,300 
  • PACE - from $106,289,100 to $149,774,600
  • Medicaid home- and community-based services, from $348,087,400 to $355,062,600.
Reprinted with permission of Area Agencies on Aging Association in Michigan.
Senior Resources of West Michigan Inc