Seniors In Pain Hop Aboard The Canna-Bus

People over 50, and especially those 65 and older, are the fastest growing group of cannabis users. They find it helpful in easing pain.

Shirley Avedon, 90,­­ had never been a cannabis user. But carpal tunnel syndrome that sends shooting pains into both of her hands and an aversion to conventional steroid and surgical treatments is prompting her to consider some new options.

House Overwhelmingly Passes Six-Year Extension to Nursing Home Tax

The Oregon Health Care Association lobbied to for an early vote to extend the tax to 2026, providing stability to their businesses and the state. The tax raises about $70 million a year for vulnerable seniors.

The Oregon House of Representatives voted 53 to 3 to renew the tax on nursing home facilities by six years, extending the tax through 2026.

Changes to Republican Health Bill Could Reduce but Not Eliminate Lopsided Negative Impact on Seniors

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a series of amendments that would moderate the impacts on Medicaid, particularly for long-term care services for the elderly and disabled. But without any changes, these services would see a $150 million cut and middle-income seniors would bear the heaviest cost in the individual health market.

The Republican health bill up for a vote in Congress tomorrow could come down hardest on seniors and people with disabilities, cutting $150 million from state programs and capping the amount of money the state can spend on long-term care services.

Oregon Could See Higher Spending if Safety Net Program for Seniors Cut

Gov. Kate Brown has proposed severe cuts to Oregon Project Independence to help close a $1.8 billion budget gap for 2017-2019. But limiting support for the program will only push more seniors into Medicaid, which costs the state more than this program, which provides limited help for seniors wishing to stay at home. Sen. Tim Knopp and Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer may lead the bipartisan effort to save the program.

Oregon may not gain any savings if it tries to cut back on the popular Oregon Project Independence program, as many seniors in the program could end up routed into more expensive Medicaid programming without it.

Federal Investigation Underway into Senior Advisory Council

Bill Gentile blew the whistle after being removed as chair.

After being removed as chair of the Senior Advisory Council for Elders, Bill Gentile’s concerns prompted a state investigation. Then, the Administration for Community Living (the federal agency overseeing funding through the Older Americans Act) reviewed the results, and requested a deeper look. That inquiry is now taking place from Salem into what Gentile describes as potential conflicts of interest, lack of diversity, and other issues possibly counter to federal statutes.

Feds Want Deeper State Investigation Into Charges of Conflict of Interest, Lack of Diversity Involving Senior Advisory Council

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Former council chair says Elders in Action is too cozy with funding sources and that Multnomah County should more closely monitor vendors to make sure low-income seniors get needed healthcare and transportation services.

Until May of this year, Bill Gentile was the elected chair of the statutorily mandated Senior Advisory Council for Elders in Action (EiA), a Portland non-profit advocacy group. That's when he was asked by the group's executive director, Barbara Bernstein, to step down.

Small Employers Could Face Higher Costs Under Legislation Proposed by Insurance Division

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Last-minute Senate amendments to HB 2466 will allow Oregon to delay the expansion of the small group market if allowed by the federal government and let insurance companies continue to sell old health plans to employers with 50 to 100 employees. Health Republic CEO Dawn Bonder warned HB 2466 will result in increased rates in 2016 for all small employers. Those who want the old plans will be at the mercy of their insurance company while rates on the existing small group market will be jacked up by a riskier health pool caused by the loss of a healthier workforce to those old plans.

Oregon’s health co-operatives raised alarms about a last-minute bill from the Insurance Division that they contend will stack the deck in favor of the big insurance companies by allowing them wide berth to offer employers old, pre-Obamacare health plans until October 2016, even as most employers

New Study Shows Gap in Medicaid Reimbursement Funding

The Oregon Health Care Association is asking legislators for cost of living adjustments in the 2015-17 budget to meet the growing needs of low-income seniors.

Funding to care for Oregon’s seniors isn’t keeping up with the growing number of the aging population most in need, according to a study by Portland State University.


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