House Committee Passes Bill to
Reauthorize the Older Americans Act
Bill Would Increase Funding for Vital Aging Services

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, jleavelle@n4a.org and (202) 872-0888

WASHINGTON—Earlier today, the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act, which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act through 2024. While a modest piece of legislation, the measure contains most of n4a’s OAA reauthorization priorities, and so has earned n4a’s endorsement.
 
“n4a salutes the leadership of the House Education and Labor Committee in producing a bipartisan bill that updates and reauthorizes the vitally important Older Americans Act,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “Programs and services funded by the Older Americans Act help enable millions of older adults age with dignity, health and independence where they want to be—at home and in the community. The Act also supports family caregivers, who are the backbone of our nation’s long-term services and supports system. As our country finds new ways to meet the needs of growing numbers of older adults, it’s critical that we reinforce and expand the ability of the Aging Network to provide home and community-based services, such as those funded by the OAA, which are far less costly than institutional care and which can also prevent unnecessary medical costs.”
 
The proposed legislation contains most of n4a’s Older Americans Act reauthorization priorities. Specifically, the Dignity in Aging Act would:

 
  • Extend the Act for five years, two years longer than the prior reauthorization.
  • Provide notable increases in authorized funding: a seven percent increase the first year, with six percent increases each year after.
  • Include language to make clear that AAAs can engage in private pay, integrated care and other arrangements to expand services outside of the Act.
  • Provide for additional funding to support Title VI programs, specifically for the provision of supportive services and capacity-building training.
  • Remove the Title III E funding cap on grandfamilies and older relative caregivers.
  • Include the creation of new research and demonstration authority at Administration on Aging.
  • Recognize the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness and reinforce the Aging Network’s role in preventing isolation and promoting engagement among older adults.
“We and our members hope the Committee’s passage of this measure will be followed by swift passage by the full House of Representatives and encourage the Senate to continue conversations on the draft bill released by the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions earlier this year,” said Markwood.
 
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