Formerly IGSW News | VOLUME 24 | SUMMER 2017

Notable News and Resources

'Action Alert' from AAHD

People with Disabilities Would Lose Big
With GOP Health Care Act and Trump Budget

People with disabilities are among those with the most to lose under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) now making its way through Congress and the cuts to Medicaid contained in President Donald Trump's new budget proposals. The version of the AHCA passed by the House of Representatives calls for more than $800 billion in Medicaid reductions. The Trump budget would slash another $610 billion, according to The New York Times and other sources. Also at risk are the Obamacare guarantee of coverage for preexisting conditions, its prohibition of caps on lifetime coverage, and its requirement of essential health benefits (including prescription drugs, mental health care, rehabilitation), along with many community-based services. All of these are crucial elements of the care people with disabilities need.

In response, the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) has issued an "Action Alert" that details what individuals, families, and service providers can do to raise awareness of these threats and preserve vital services. Obtain this and other easy-to-use resources for action from AAHD.

Social media is one suggested resource. Following are a couple of the proposed tweets:

Older adults and medications

National Institute on Aging Offers Easy-to-Follow
Prescription for Safety and Effectiveness

Just Ask. The answers to a few simple questions can go a long way toward ensuring that an older adult will gain the most benefit from prescribed medications and avoid dangerous errors and adverse effects. A list of questions to ask the doctor or pharmacist before starting a new medication is part of a plan from the National Institute on Aging at NIH to increase safety and effectiveness of medication use for older adults.

More at risk. While older adults constitute only 13 percent of the population, more than one third of total spending on prescription medications in the United States is for people age 65 and older. They take more drugs, for multiple conditions, over a longer term, compared to younger people. And they are more at risk. Age-related changes in metabolism make older adults more likely to experience adverse or unexpected effects, as do potential interactions among the variety of drugs they are more likely to require. Finally, a larger percentage of the older population takes over-the-counter medication and dietary supplements, which could make any health problem from prescription drugs worse. Fortunately, the NIA has found that asking their prescribed list of questions can mean a better result. This list should be in the armamentarium of those who provide supports and services to an older adult, as they are often the ones to follow-up after a prescription is filled and to notice potential problems.

The Questions to Ask Your Doctor before starting on a new medication:

—National Institute on Aging

Back to Front Page

Copyright © 2017 Trustees of Boston University. All rights reserved. This article may not be duplicated or distributed in any form without written permission from the publisher: Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research, Boston University School of Social Work, 264 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, U.S.A.; e-mail: