House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize
the Older Americans Act

n4a Urges Swift Senate Action

 
 
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, jleavelle@n4a.org and (202) 872-0888
October 28, 2019


WASHINGTON—Today the Dignity in Aging Act was passed by a unanimous voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2024. The federal Older Americans Act, which expired on September 30, provides vital home and community-based services to more than 11 million older adults and caregivers each year.
 
“n4a salutes leaders of the House and the Education and Labor Committee in producing a bipartisan bill that updates and reauthorizes the critically important Older Americans Act,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “We now look to the Senate to take action on many of the important updates passed by their House colleagues. Reauthorizing this vital Act will ensure the ongoing stability of the Older Americans Act programs and services that help millions of older adults age with dignity, health and independence. The OAA is also a lifeline for family caregivers, who are the backbone of our nation’s long-term services and supports system.”
 
The House-passed Dignity in Aging Act includes most of n4a’s Older Americans Act reauthorization priorities and previously earned n4a’s endorsement. Specifically, the Dignity in Aging Act would:

 
  • Extend the OAA 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—totaling a 35 percent increase over five years.
  • 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 Native American aging programs, specifically for the provision of supportive services and capacity-building training.
  • Remove the Title III E cap on grandfamilies and older relative caregivers.
  • Include the creation of new research and demonstration authority at the U.S. 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 hope the Senate will continue this bipartisan momentum and approve an OAA reauthorization measure that expands the Aging Network’s capacity to provide services to a rapidly growing population of older adults and caregivers. The home and community-based services funded through the OAA are far less costly than institutional care and ensure that older adults and caregivers can age with health and independence in their homes and communities, where they want to be,” said Markwood.


 
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