House Panel Approves FY13 Aging Services Funding
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House Panel Approves FY13 Aging Services Funding

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July 20, 2012

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has marked up its FY13 appropriations bill.

Programs that provide meals and energy assistance to seniors were spared from cuts.

However, the bill includes an unspecified $30 million reduction in Administration on Aging (AoA) funding, eliminates resources for chronic disease and falls prevention, and terminates initiatives that support volunteers who serve older adults.

The committee summary of the bill states that AoA would be cut by $30 million below last year’s level and $537 million below the President’s budget request. No other details are provided except for level-funding of the nutrition programs.

NCOA is concerned that the reductions may affect healthy aging programs, given the bill eliminates all resources affiliated with the Affordable Care Act.

For example, the $1 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund is eliminated, and with it, the $10 million currently provided for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and the $10 million increase proposed by the Senate for Elder Falls Prevention at AoA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The bill also eliminates all Corporation for National Service programs, except Senior Corps. This was proposed last year but was not included in final FY12 legislation.

The Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and RSVP would be level-funded, but no resources would be provided for AmeriCorps, VISTA, and other volunteer efforts that support aging services.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), and Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), all of which assist low-income and vulnerable older adults, were all maintained at their current funding levels.

The bill will now go to the full House Appropriations Committee. It's unlikely that it will be considered on the House floor; final figures will be negotiated with the Senate in a larger spending package that will be assembled in the coming months.

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