January 26, 2015
Great news! Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Older Americans Act has already been introduced in the new 114th Congress. S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, was introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). This bill would update and strengthen the current Older Americans Act (OAA) law and includes provisions that would aid long-term care consumers. The OAA authorizes programs and funding to benefit individuals aged 60 years or older in each state, including services such as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, home and community-based services, nutritional and transportation programs, legal services, and many others. To learn more, read our press release here.
The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act, S. 192, would not only reauthorize these programs and services - which is critical for ensuring their continuation in the future - but also improve upon current law. For example, it includes provisions to strengthen the effectiveness of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and helps take a step towards better ensuring quality home care by calling for the development of a consumer-friendly tool to assist individuals in choosing home and community-based services.
S. 192 is moving forward fast and will be considered in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Wednesday, January 28th. For those whose senators serve on this committee, we need your help in telling them to support this legislation! Reauthorization must pass the HELP committee before progressing any further in Congress. You can click here to enter your zip code and find if your senator serves on this committee - if so, you will be provided with a draft message to send to your member. If your member does not serve on this committee, we will have an action for all to take shortly in support of the bill.