2015 n4a Aging Policy Briefing Recap
The 21st annual n4a Aging Policy Briefing & Capitol Hill Day was a great success and brought together 150 n4a AAA and Title VI Native American aging program executives and staff, local and national aging advocates and aging policy experts in Washington, DC April 20-21, 2015.
The attendance at the Aging Policy Briefing was the highest in recent years and reflected the critical need for advocates for older adults to understand current aging policy issues, to educate Members of Congress about the important work being done in communities across the country, and to advocate forn4a’s 2015 Policy Priorities.
The event started off with a pre-conference intensive sponsored by Humana, “AAAs is a Managed Care World: Developing Advanced Skills for a New Era,” which explored the latest best practices and new business development opportunities for AAAs in a managed care landscape, including deep dives on data quality and the value of an agency’s network.
On Monday afternoon, the Aging Policy Briefing officially kicked off with a federal budget and spending overview from one of the country’s top federal budget experts, Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Attendees also received detailed legislative updates on Medicare and Medicaid from experts at AARP and Medicare Rights Center, then heard from a panel of key Capitol Hill staff, who outlined and updated participants on the status of Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorization efforts in Congress.
Following a jam-packed day of policy news and education, n4a hosted a reception on Capitol Hill to celebrate 40 years of n4a advocacy and the accomplishments of the Aging Network. The reception brought AAA and Title VI colleagues from all over the country together with many Capitol Hill staff and other national leaders. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a long-time champion of the OAA, made remarks and congratulated n4a and the Aging Network on more than 40 years of work on behalf of older adults in every community. (For more on the 40th reception, click here.)
Tuesday morning started with a special White House Conference on Aging Listening Session led by WHCoA Executive Director Nora Super and Assistant Secretary on Aging Kathy Greenlee. Participants spoke to some of the priorities they hoped to see outlined in aging policy goals identified by the White House Conference on Aging.
Kathy Greenlee then spoke to the crowd about the 10 things she hoped to accomplish by the end of her leadership tenure at the AoA/ACL , including OAA reauthorization and further progress on elder justice issues. The policy briefing closed out with an Advocacy Boot Camp where n4a’s policy team shared best practices and practical tips for taking local and national priorities to Capitol Hill.
After the briefing, advocates from across the country attended more than 100 meetings with their Members of Congress and staff to discuss the critical role of AAAs and Title VI aging programs in ensuring that older adults age successfully in their communities, as well as the need for Congress to focus on reauthorizing OAA, restoring funding for important OAA programs and other top priorities.