Statement by Sandy Markwood, CEO
Congress Significantly Boosts Aging Programs in Omnibus Spending Bill

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2018
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, and (202) 872-0888

WASHINGTON – The bipartisan omnibus spending bill currently moving through Congress includes long-overdue—and much needed—funding increases for vital community programs that provide services to older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers in communities around the country. These increases are the most significant and most wholesale steps toward restoring the funding that had been lost to budget cuts and sequestration since FY 2011.

“This funding bill is great news for older adults and their caregivers, and the increases it includes will improve the capacity of local aging programs to effectively meet the needs of our nation’s rapidly growing aging population,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood.

“We appreciate that lawmakers increased investments in vital Older Americans Act (OAA) programs and services funded through the U.S. Administration on Aging, which means that older adults will continue to receive in-home services, home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, caregiver supports, evidence-based health and wellness programs and other essential services that enable older adults to maintain their health and independence for as long as possible,” said Markwood. 

n4a is also pleased that lawmakers rejected proposals from the Trump Administration to eliminate key federal programs that help low-income older adults meet their basic needs, find jobs to make ends meet, give back to their communities through volunteerism, receive one-on-one help understanding their Medicare and other benefits, and—most importantly—help them live independently at home and in the community.

“We look forward to working with leaders of both parties in Congress to build upon these investments in budget negotiations for the next fiscal year and beyond. Given the projected growth in the aging population, it is essential that we continue to increase funding for OAA and other aging programs to ensure that we keep the country’s longstanding commitment to help its citizens live with dignity and independence at home and in their communities. The increases included in this funding bill represent the first step in that process,” said Markwood.

For n4a's analysis of the omnibus bill, read our March 22 Legislative Update.

About the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

# # #