WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) blasted the draconian House Republican budget proposal to cut fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending back to the fiscal year 2022 enacted level—resulting in a cut of at least 22 percent for essential programs – and the harm it would cause seniors.
“The Republican budget proposal would be devastating to many Arizona seniors, many of whom are disabled or on a fixed-income,” said Rep. Grijalva. “These cuts would rob seniors of health, housing and even food assistance at a time when many are dealing with rising costs and still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Eliminating this critical funding is cruel and we won’t turn our backs on our seniors.”
The extreme Republican budget proposal would:
Worsen Social Security and Medicare wait times.
- The Social Security Administration would be forced to close field offices and reduce access to in-person services, and people applying for disability benefits would wait an additional 2 months for the processing of claims.
- With fewer staff available, 1.5 million seniors and people with disabilities in Arizona would be forced to endure longer wait times when they call for assistance for both Social Security and Medicare.
Rob seniors of healthy meals.
- With the looming rise of food insecurity,nutrition services, such as Meals on Wheels, would be cut for more than 1 million seniors. For some, these services provide their only meal of the day.
Cut housing for seniors.
- Despite a stubbornly persistent gap in housing assistance, the Republican proposal would eliminate funding for Housing Choice Vouchers for as many as 100,000 households headed by seniors, putting seniors across the country at greater risk of homelessness.
- Under the proposed Republican cuts, more than 430,000 low-income families would be evicted from Section 8 housing. With more than 80% of these households headed by seniors, this would cause an unprecedented loss of affordable housing for older adults.
Reduce vital services for older adults.
- Under this proposal, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would be unable to complete 38% of the required health and safety recertification surveys of nursing homes and home health agencies, leaving thousands of seniors at greater risk of dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
- With a drastic reduction in funding for the Employment and Training Administration, 10,000 low-income older workers participating in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) would lose their jobs.
More information on how House Republican proposals hurt seniors can be found here and here. More information on how House Republicans proposals impact the Department of Health and Human services can be found here.