California Program Aids Home-Owning Seniors

California has introduced a program to help older residents that have fallen behind on property tax or insurance payments. The $2 billion federal program will be enacted through the Keep Your Home California program, and will provide up to $25,000 of assistance to those who demonstrate need. This pilot program will assist residents age 62 and older stay in their homes and recover from financial hardships such as a decrease in income or expensive medical bills.

To read the full LA Times article, click here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-re-seniors-reverse-mortgages-20150217-story.html

Follow this link to the Keep Your Home California website: http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/reverse-mortgage-assistance-program/

South Dakota Democrats Talk Medicaid Expansion

South Dakota democrats have said that state Medicaid expansion is still on the table. Although there are concerns as to how much the expansion will cost, expanding Medicaid will protect hospitals from the financial burden of covering the costs of the uninsured.

To listen to Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton speak on the issue, please follow this link to WNAX Radio’s website: http://wnax.com/news/180081-south-dakota-democrats-talk-medicaid-expansion/

Massachusetts House to take up budget fix that could affect seniors

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House will take up Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget reduction bill on Wednesday afternoon.

Baker, a Republican, last week proposed a mix of spending cuts and new revenue to close a mid-year budget gap pegged at $768 million. Most of the new revenues – $179 million – and some of the spending cuts – $103 million – require legislative approval.

Advocates representing seniors and health care workers are worried that proposed changes could lead to reductions in MassHealth benefits.

More: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/massachusetts_house_to_take_up.html

Calif. Asm. David Hadley Says Seniors Hit Hardest by Rising Health Care Costs

The cost of health care will continue to be a major issue in the current California legislative session according to State Assemblymember David Hadley (R-South Bay). According to Hadley, seniors were the first to feel the brunt of rising costs.

“California is among the highest-cost states in the country – high housing costs, high sales taxes, gas taxes, taxes on insurance premiums, cap-and-trade taxes. Part of what we need to do to make California more cost-effective for seniors are policies that will benefit all Californians” – Asm. David Hadley, Assembly District 66

Hadley argues that part of the solution is to find new opportunities where seniors can cut costs. One possibility is to broaden their ability to complete 1031 tax-free real estate exchanges. This enables someone to move into new housing and still benefit from Proposition 13, which helps keep property taxes low for long-time homeowners.

According to the California Healthcare Foundation, California health insurance premiums have increased by 9.8 percent since 2011 — a reality that is catching many seniors on a fixed income by surprise.

Democratic Convention set for Philadelphia

WASHINGTON • Democrats will hold their 2016 national convention in Philadelphia, where the last time they met in the City of Brotherly Love they nominated an underdog named Harry S. Truman for President and wrote a civil rights platform that began the long exodus of Southern Democrats from the party,
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