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Policy and Advocacy

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Policy and Advocacy

ASA may not send staffers to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of elders, but many organizations in our membership community certainly do. These advocates and stakeholders—many of them prominent policymakers in the aging services network—fill us in on a regular basis on their progress, whether it be fighting for elder justice, defending Social Security, supporting the beneficial policies embedded in the Affordable Care Act or pressuring a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Find the inside scoop on new policies affecting older adults and advocacy in the works here. And check often as the gears of government grind on: our members are there at the forefront to report on this complex landscape.  



Online Learning: ASA members have free access to all web seminars.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Start : 11:00 AM Pacific
End : 12:00 PM Pacific

Part of the “Conversations with GIA,” Series, sponsored by Grantmakers in Aging.

Thanks to our co-sponsors the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Retirement Research Foundation

Register Now

What’s new at #AiA14?

posted 10.23.2013

Every year at AiA, we strive to build on our success, sharpen our content and find new ways to bring the best and brightest ideas to YOU and the over 3,000 other professionals in the field of aging who attend the Aging in America Conference. This year is no exception. So, when you register for #AiA14 you can look forward to some new features including…


Web Seminar: Why the Affordable Care Act Matters to Diverse Older People

Event Date: 
11.06.2013 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Time Zone: 
(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time
Short Description: 

Part of the “Conversations with GIA,” Series, sponsored by Grantmakers in Aging.

Full Description: 

The health coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you, your loved ones and your communities. The Diverse Elders Coalition represents millions of diverse older people age 50+ who are among those affected by the these expansions. They include the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Medicaid expansion, new benefits for elders 65+ on Medicare, and a range of protections that make health care more accessible for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older people and older people of color. The number of uninsured older adults age 50-64 continues to rise—from 3.7 million in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2010. In addition, people of color make up more than half of uninsured people in the U.S.— and research shows that people of color, across the age span, face significant disparities in physical and mental health. Additionally, many people of color delay care because of potential medical costs and out of fear of discrimination or cultural incompetence from medical providers. These issues are especially true for LGBT people of color who face challenges on multiple aspects of their identities. The ACA has the ability to create a path to better health by offering more affordable health insurance options, improving services and eliminating the usual obstacles.

This webinar will highlight both national and state-specific examples on what is being done to ensure that older people know about the changes that are taking place under the ACA and how it affects them.

Web Seminar: HIV & Aging

Event Date: 
11.07.2013 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Time Zone: 
(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time
Short Description: 

Presented by the LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN)

Full Description: 

It is estimated that by 2015, 50% of those living with HIV will be at least 50 years of age, a proportion that will rise to 70% by 2020. This is a remarkable shift from just 30 years ago when HIV/AIDS was considered a “death sentence” imparted upon mostly younger men who have sex with men. However, there are still challenges to aging with the virus given the phenomenon some have described as accelerated or accentuated aging. That is, many of these older adults are experiencing multiple comorbid conditions decades earlier than their non-infected peers. The diversity of experiences of aging with HIV remains a novel and consequently poorly understood phenomenon.

This webinar will review some of the most current research on aging with HIV/AIDS primarily drawing from two large recent studies in San Francisco and New York City. Common patterns and city-specific differences will be noted focusing on physical and mental/ behavioral health issues, and how these impact the need for and utilization of informal social support and caregiving resources, as well as formal community-based health and social services. Implications of these findings will be discussed with particular relevance for policy, service providers and funders.

Why the Affordable Care Act Matters to Diverse Older People

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

11:00 AM Pacific / 12:00 PM Mountain
1:00 PM Central / 2:00 PM Eastern

Middle-Aged Adults Behind on Prevention

posted 10.17.2013

Falling under the category “are they thinking about their futures?,” fewer than one of three adults ages 50 to 64 are up-to-date on recommended preventive health services like mammograms, Pap tests, colorectal cancer screenings and flu vaccines." This is according to an October report from the AARP Public Policy Institute, “Use of Clinical Preventive Services and Prevalence of Health Risk Factors among Adults Aged 5

Quick Question: How do you help raise awareness about mental illness among older adults?

posted 10.15.2013

Last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week and so we asked how you help to raise awareness about mental illness among older adults. Here are a few of the responses we received: 

By getting the word out about existing programs and also continuing the collaboration between community-based programs and mental health providers.

Modernizing Medicaid: Putting Home and Community-Based Services on Equal Footing with Nursing Homes

Event Date: 
10.30.2013 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Time Zone: 
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time
Event Location
Address 1: 
Senate Russell Office Building, Room 325
Washington, DC
Short Description: 

Join us to explore modernizing Medicaid to enable people who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) to live where they choose.

Full Description: 

Join us to explore modernizing Medicaid to enable people who need long-term services and supports (LTSS) to live where they choose, including their own homes and communities.  This discussion comes at a time of growing bipartisan support for changing Medicaid's requirement to fund LTSS in nursing homes while funding home and community-based services (HCBS) on a limited and optional basis.  In addition to restricting choice, the half-century old provision makes it difficult to meet a growing demand for LTSS in a cost-effective way.

The recent federal Commission on Long-Term Care called for building a system that promotes "services for persons with functional limitations in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their needs."  A major step toward accomplishing this goal would be to reform Medicaid to put coverage for HCBS on par with coverage for nursing homes.  Please join the AARP Public Policy Institute for a discussion of policy options and lessons learned in the states. Speakers and panelists include:

G. Lawrence Atkins, Long-Term Care Commission Staff Director
President, National Academy of Social Insurance

Josefina Carbonell, Senior Vice President for Long-Term Care and Nutrition, Independent Living Systems; Former Assistant Secretary for Aging

Henry Claypool, Executive Vice President, American Association of People with Disabilities
Former Director, HHS Office of Disability

Stephen Kaye, Professor, Institute for Health & Aging, University of California, San Francisco

Charles Milligan, Deputy Secretary, Health Care Financing, Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Susan Reinhard, AARP Senior Vice President; Director, AARP Public Policy Institute

Jami Snyder, Operations Administrator, Acute and Long-Term Care, AZ Health Care Cost Containment System

Debra Whitman, AARP Executive Vice President, Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs

For more information, contact: Janett Gasaway

ASA Supports LCAO Letter to Congress on the Shutdown

ASA today supported a Chair's Letter from the Leadership Council of Aging Organiztions, a coalition of 69 national aging organizations, to Congressional leadership. The letter (PDF) urges Congress to quickly resolve the current impasse by approving both a continuing resolution and debt-ceiling increase unencumbered with attempts to change policy or existing federal expenditures.