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Public Policy: Older Americans

This fall, must-pass legislation will provide opportunities for Congress and the President to strengthen and/or harm the economic and health security of over 50 million older Americans.  Before they leave for recess in December, Congress faces bill approval deadlines to avoid a government shutdown, a default, and to extend transportation funding and certain tax breaks. As part of the annual appropriations process, a deal will be sought to mitigate the full return of the “sequester” – automatic across-the-board limitations on defense and non-defense discretionary spending.  Some or all of the bills that must be passed by the end of the year could be combined into a single legislative vehicle if a larger agreement can be made between the President and Congressional leaders.     


The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally enacted in 1965, supports a range of home and community-based services, such as meals-on-wheels and other nutrition programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder abuse prevention and caregivers support. These programs help seniors stay as independent as possible in their homes and communities. In addition, OAA services help seniors avoid hospitalization and nursing home care, and, as a result, save federal and state funds that otherwise would be spent on such care.

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse  S. 192, the bipartisan “Older Americans Act Amendments of 2015,” which you introduced along with Senators Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders and Richard Burr. 

As the new 114th Congress begins its work, we've detailed a myriad of legislative priorities which would continue to build and strengthen Social Security and Medicare's historic legacy for current and future beneficiaries. 

The Older Americans Act helps millions of American families each year thru a variety of programs. It’s critical that Congress reauthorize this vital program.

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