LeadingAge New York Adviser Fall 2015 Vol. 1 - Page 8

One Voice Watching the Politics Part of our Jobs as Care Givers by Steve Greenberg and Bob Bellafiore H ealth care, senior care and the funding and regulations surrounding them are constantly evolving through legislation and regulation at both the Federal and state levels. Some of the changes are driven by the fiscal necessities of both government and providers; some are driven by regulators responding to experience and needs. Many of the changes, however, can be traced to the political desires of Democrats and Republicans as both parties try to appeal to various constituencies and pursue their separate objectives. This is even truer today given the We’ve been working in and around Albany politics for political climate in Washington and Albany and as the last 30 years and it’s clear to us that at a time like we approach the 2016 election season. this, your affiliation with LeadingAge New York is a crucial resource that you can your mission and objectives. Fierce races are under way in both parties to determine nominees in a crucial – and what is and must use to advance expected to be a bitterly contested – presidential race that will help define the future of Obamacare. The U.S. House of Representatives very soon will have a new Speaker and Republicans are preparing to defend their majorities in both houses of Congress. Meanwhile, Democrats are working to thwart that effort and regain control of the Senate and the House. In New York, Senator Charles Schumer – the presumptive Democratic leader of the United States Senate come 2017 – faces re-election and there are likely to be a half dozen or more hotly contested House races in seats currently held by both Democrats and, to a larger extent, Republicans. And all 213 seats in the State Legislature will be up for election. Republicans will again try to win enough seats to maintain control of the closely divided state Senate, where they currently hold the narrowest of majorities. In the state Assembly, no one expects the Democrats to lose their commanding majority, although some individual seats may change hands. What does this all mean for nursing home and senior housing, adult care, continuing care retirement and assisted living facility providers? In short, it means you have your work cut out for you in advocating for your facility and your clients. What seem like smart policy decisions and common sense approaches to current and future challenges you face most likely will be viewed by government decision makers – both regulators and elected officials – through the prism of a high-stakes political and partisan landscape. It means that more than ever, you must keep your elected representatives at the Federal, state and local levels informed about your facility, your mission and the clients and their families you serve. That also goes for potential office holders – challengers to incumbents and all candidates for open seats, irrespective of their party affiliation. (See Watching the Politics on page 8) 7 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Fall 2015