Last week, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney defended the Trump administration’s proposed deep cuts to social welfare programs. “Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Mulvaney said during a White House news briefing, before adding, “We’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.” (So, making sure that older people can eat as more of them age in place is not a fulfillment of a promise?)
That, and the revelation that the House version of a proposal that would rewrite the Affordable Care Act has been fashioned to place the aging (from 50 on) and the poor at most risk, has riveted the public’s attention to the targeting of a growing aged and aging population, which is being unfortunately layered atop nonprofits already struggling with systemic weaknesses.
This special report from Giving USA, “Giving and the Golden Years,” is not so much about giving as it is about the financial stability—or, rather, the lack thereof—of aging services nonprofits. This report becomes extraordinarily important in light of several factors:
- The aging of the population—by 2029, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over 65 years old, up from 15 percent today.
- Recent proposals for a repeal and replacement of the ACA have created a good deal of uncertainty about the reliability of Medicaid and Medicare for older Americans.
- Growth in the aged population will require a significant growth in services to older Americans; many of the nonprofits serving the elderly depend on Medicaid and Medicare to support their service provision, and those funds may be more restricted in future if some legislators have their way.
- On top of having a significant portion of their revenue streams potentially compromised or at least placed in doubt, the average surplus margins of most of those nonprofits are diminished from their pre-recession levels, having declined from 4.2 percent in 2006 to 2.3 percent in 2013. This makes many of