Aging News Alert

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Senate Committee Updates 2017 Fraud Book; Takes on Scammers

The number of calls to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline more than doubled in 2016 -- a sign that the Committee’s efforts have increased awareness of schemes targeting older Americans, but also a stark reminder that con artists continue to stop at nothing in order to rob unsuspecting seniors of their hard-earned money.

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Elderly in Poor, Violent Neighborhoods at Greater Risk for Depression

The research specifically showed that older adults who lived in neighborhoods with more homicide and a higher poverty rate experienced more depressive symptoms. In fact, neighborhood homicide rates accounted for almost a third of the effect of neighborhood poverty on older adult depression.

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Advancing Brain Health Research to Underrepresented Groups

A multi-pronged engagement strategy to build a national network of diverse researchers, patients, caregivers and stakeholder groups for collaboration and knowledge sharing around barriers, facilitators and priorities in Alzheimer’s research, this project aims to foster effective and inclusive community engagement and collaboration strategies.

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Price, Mnuchin Nominations Move to Senate Despite Lingering Controversy

The Senate Finance Committee has approved Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to become Health and Human Services secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to become the new Treasury secretary. The two nominees were approved by a pair of 14-0 votes.The committee’s Democrats boycotted the meeting, demanding additional time to ask more questions about the two nominees. Democrats say there are unresolved questions about both nominees' financial backgrounds.

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Proposed Law Would Protect Seniors from Financial Scams

Senate Aging Committee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-M), the panel’s former ranking Democrat, have introduced the proposed Senior$afe Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation would put in place a common-sense plan to help protect American seniors from financial exploitation and fraud by providing support to regulators, financial institutions, and legal organizations to educate their employees about how to identify and prevent financial exploitation of older Americans.

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Medicare Block Grant Plan Could Negatively Affect Seniors

President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price (R-OH) support radically changing the basic structure of Medicaid by converting the program to a block grant or what is known as a “per capita cap” and dramatically reducing federal funding for the program over time. In fact, Trump is expected to soon submit a proposal to Congress calling for the block-granting of Medicaid.

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Social Security Reform Bill Draws Criticism from Constituents

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), chair of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, has put forward a bill with a set of reforms to Social Security that the Social Security actuaries say will cover the program’s long-term shortfall. However, while there is some overlap, the mix of reforms it proposes is at odds with the mix proposed by a representative sample of voters in a recent in-depth survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation (PPC).

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Trump’s Treasury Secretary Nominee Has Shaky Record with Seniors

Steven Mnuchin, the multi-millionaire hedge funder selected by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Treasury Department, will likely face a plethora of tough questions when he appears before the Senate Finance Committee next year for his confirmation hearing. Mnuchin increased his personal fortune through his co-ownership of OneWest, a controversial California-based bank that profited during the height of the Wall Street financial crisis by engaging in an array of unethical practices, including making predatory loans to the elderly by way of so-called reverse mortgages and then aggressively foreclosing on their homes.

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Schumer Accuses Republicans of Declaring War on Seniors

Borrowing a line from Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” film personae, Sen, Charles Schumer, (D-NY) who will replace retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as leader of the loyal opposition, is warning his Republican colleagues against any attempt to privatize Medicare.

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Trump Taps Pence Crony to Head CMS

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Seema Verma, a health policy consultant, to be his nominee for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A close associate of Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R-IN), she is founder and CEO of SVC Inc., a conservative-oriented health policy consulting firm that has worked with the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

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