Sequester’s Cuts – Where the Real Pain Would Be
The harshest impact will be on seniors who rely on federal
programs to keep fed, stay warm (or cool), perform basic tasks like dressing
and bathing, and keep in contact with the outside world.
Senior nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels face cuts
resulting in 18.6 million fewer congregate and home-delivered meals, according
to Amy Gotwals, senior director of public policy and advocacy at the National Association of Area
Agencies on Aging. Meanwhile, an estimated 400,000 households will be
severed from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which assists
low-income seniors and other households with their heating and cooling bills.
Other vital services administered by Area Agencies on Aging
will be cut, including rides to medical appointments or shopping trips, and
in-home support for daily chores like dressing, cleaning, or cooking.
“All of those programs are at very grave risk,”
Gotwals told Reverse Mortgage Daily. “Any ‘savings’ from the
sequester would pale in comparison to the added costs from premature nursing
home placement for seniors who can no longer remain in their homes and
communities; poorer nutrition and health consequences; increased falls and
other avoidable crises that put vulnerable seniors at risk.”
The $85 billion in cuts on March 1 is just the beginning.
Under the terms of the sequester, federal spending would be cut by $1.2
trillion from March 2013 to March 2021 in this same blunt fashion.
For AARP’s “What the 'Sequester' Could Mean for You,” click here.
For “Questions and Answers About the Sequester” from The
New York Times, click here.