LA Seniors Gather to Protest Proposed Health Care Repeal Bill
By Denise Dador
Los Angeles seniors at St. Barnabas Senior Services near MacArthur Park held a protest Friday over concerns about the proposed health care repeal bill.
The center is in the third poorest California district.
“When you get to my age and live on such a small income, there’s so much uncertainty,” 78-year-old Hermie Cruz said.
Advocates for the elderly have said that the new budget proposals under President Donald Trump are putting seniors under siege.
“His administration is on a frontal attack — the worst one that I’ve ever seen and I’ve been doing this for a very long time,” said Ernie Powell with Social Security Works.
Hundreds of elderly protested over the proposed cuts to programs including Meals on Wheels, health insurance and long-term care which helps pay for nursing home stays.
“Seventy percent of us are going to need long-term care and (the bill is) going to make significant cuts,” Powell said.
Most of the seniors in the center rely on many of the programs that are on the line but find that the cuts to Medicare and Medi-Cal will hurt them the most.
“Medicare doesn’t cover prescriptions, for example. Medi-Cal steps in and covers that for low-income seniors,” Nancy Gomez with Health Access California explained. “Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care for seniors, Medi-Cal covers that.”
Seniors at St. Barnabas continue to hope that others will make their voices heard.
“We’re going to die fast enough but we don’t want to die any quicker without our Medicare,” one senior, Orlando Estrada, said.