Arlington, VA – The following is a statement from Howard Bedlin, National Council on Aging Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy on the passage of the bipartisan 2016 funding package:
“Advocacy by NCOA supporters shows in the bipartisan funding package passed by Congress today. Coming into the negotiations, programs and services for older adults were facing major cuts, but the final agreement rejected those cuts and even provided some increases.
“Among the programs that were spared proposed cuts were the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries; the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which helps low-income, unemployed individuals aged 55+ find work; and chronic disease self-management education and falls prevention programs important for healthy aging.
“In addition to these initiatives, several important senior nutrition, caregiver support, Native American, and elder justice programs secured funding increases.
“We appreciate that Congress recognizes the value of these essential programs for aging Americans across the country. Looking to 2016, we hope they will continue their support by passing a bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.