March 21, 2016
UPDATE: The Older Americans Act has passed in the House!
After six months of negotiations between House majority leaders on the House Education and Workforce Committee, an agreement has been reached on the House's version of the Senate-passed S.192 Older Americans Act (OAA) law and includes provisions that would make the long-term care ombudsman program more effective and help long-term care consumers. For more information, see below.
The bill would reauthorize the OAA. Authorization expired on 2011 and reauthorization is long overdue.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
1. Contact your Representative's Office and ask for the staff person who handles Older Americans Act issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.
2. Ask them to vote in favor of the Reauthorization bill, which will help older adults age with independence and dignity in their homes and communities, and protect elders in long-term care facilities and other settings.
3. Ask others in your network to do the same!
More information about the bill
Changes in Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Click here to compare the House bill with the Ombudsman provisions of the current Older Americans Act.
House S.192 includes provisions clarifying both organizational and individual conflicts of interest within the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; improving resident access to ombudsmen; better protecting the confidentiality of ombudsman information; ensuring that State Ombudsmen receive ongoing training; and, permitting ombudsmen, when feasible, to continue to serve residents transitioning from a long-term care facility to a home care setting.
What the House bill includes: Click here for a bill summary. The main difference between the Senate bill (passed July 16, 2015) and the House bill is that the House bill includes specific authorization levels for funding that in general would increase 6.777 percent over three years and changes to the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) program.
Consumer Voice submitted a letter in support of the bill.
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As always, thank you for your advocacy!