A Real Safety Net
AARP seeks adequate funding for the safety net programs that help both families who have newly fallen on hard times and families who consistently have trouble making ends meet. This assistance takes the form of cash, health care, energy, nutrition, housing and other aid. We recognize that the state and federal governments face a budget squeeze that will force difficult decisions involving outlays and revenues. But our great country can still afford a decent safety net for its neediest families.
Rising costs for health care and other necessities are dangerous for families on fixed or limited incomes. Increasingly, people are postponing medical treatment and struggling over which bills to pay first—if at all. Medicaid is a vital support for low-income Americans and millions of older persons who need long-term services and supports, and any savings must be carefully chosen to avoid harming those who depend on it. But smart savings that reduce administrative waste while preserving access to care can make sense. AARP urges greater coordination of all low-income assistance programs, as well as administrative streamlining and more effective outreach, to make sure needy individuals get the help they qualify for.