Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. House demonstrated its support for older Americans by passing without opposition, amendments to S. 192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2015, which sustains critical services that keep our nation’s seniors healthy and independent. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) commends the House action and encourages the U.S. Senate to work swiftly to endorse the House changes and send the legislation to the President’s desk.
“This welcome move by the House is a crucial step toward ensuring that many programs and services that older Americans rely on will continue,” said Howard Bedlin, NCOA Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “For more than 50 years, OAA services have helped older adults age with dignity. Today’s vote shows Americans of all ages that Democrats and Republicans in Congress can work together on important senior issues to strengthen and modernize the programs they rely on.”
S. 192 reflects several of NCOA’s priorities, including provisions that:
- Offer new support for modernizing multipurpose senior centers
- Highlight the importance of addressing economic needs
- Permanently require health promotion and disease prevention initiatives be evidence-based
- Promote chronic disease self-management and falls prevention
The bill also includes stronger elder justice and legal services provisions; needed clarity for caregiver support and Aging and Disability Resource Centers; and new opportunities for intergenerational shared sites.
Funding for OAA has not kept pace with inflation or demand, and sequester and other recent budget cuts have significantly eroded OAA support and increased waiting lists for services nationwide. Reauthorization affirms Congress’ bipartisan support for these programs and the local networks that deliver them.
NCOA thanks House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), for their leadership of the bipartisan legislation.
Learn more about the Older Americans Act at ncoa.org/OAA.
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.