Millions of seniors rely on programs under the Older Americans Act for access to food, transportation, and caregiving services. These programs help seniors live independent lives and allow them to remain a part of the community. However, the Older Americans Act is set to expire on September 30. Reauthorizing the Older Americans Act will best ensure the stability of countless programs that provide a valuable safety net to seniors
- Congregate and Home-Delivered Nutrition Services. The OAA supports programs that provide meals in congregate settings like senior centers and adult day-care centers, home-delivered meals services like “meals on wheels,” and nutrition counseling.
- Home and Community-Based Supportive Services. Through area agencies on aging, the OAA supports many programs that allow seniors to remain active for as long as possible in their community and prevent the need for costly medical interventions. These programs include home care, adult day care, wellness, and transportation.
- Family Caregiver Support Services. Family caregivers play an instrumental role in helping seniors remain in their homes and in their communities. The OAA recognizes this with programs to offer caregivers counseling, respite care, training, support groups, and supplemental services.
- Employment Services. OAA funding supports part-time community service employment and training for low-income, unemployed people aged 55 and older. The main OAA program to provide employment services is the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which has helped over one million seniors reenter the workforce since the program’s creating in 1965.
When you are discussing OAA with your members of Congress or their staff, it’s important to make sure they understand the real impact of OAA dollars on your organization and the people you serve using those funds. Share data and stories—tell them about the number of people in their state or district that are receiving OAA-funded services. Tell them a story about how OAA-funded services have improved the life of a specific person in your community. Make the case that these services are also cost-effective and can help delay or prevent more costly healthcare services, such as emergency room visits or hospitalizations.
We urge you to support the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act through outreach to your legislators’ offices, and those of key House and Senate Committee members, by September 30.
Click here for a directory of key staff members on the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over OAA reauthorization and appropriations.
Thank you for contacting me about the Older Americans Act. The improvement of our health care system is of the utmost importance to our state and our nation, and I appreciate hearing from you.
The investments our nation has made in health care over the past decades have yielded substantial results. Americans are living longer and healthier lives, and the larger health care system has seen declines in cases and health-care costs associated with vaccine-preventable and infectious diseases. While I am encouraged by the progress we have made, I also realize that there is still room for improvement.
Many Virginians are struggling with the high costs of insurance premiums, prescription drugs, and medical treatments. Health care costs affect individuals from all walks of life, and we owe it to our community to continuously look for ways to make our healthcare system work better for everyone. Other nations have shown it can be done through promoting preventive care, effectively using technology, paying our health care providers by patient outcomes, and finding ways to reduce defensive medicine and lower malpractice premiums without taking rights away from patients.
Our work to improve quality of care should encompass service delivery and payment reforms and should also include investments in the providers delivering care. We must continue to find ways to ensure that hospitals receive the funding they need to deliver superior service. We should adequately compensate physicians for the care they provide. We also need to ensure that reforms recognize the increasingly important role that non-physician providers play in our health care system.
Finally, to maintain and improve upon the progress we have made towards increasing the health of our national population, we must continue to invest in medical research. The members of our community affected by well-known diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and Alzheimer's, as well as rarer conditions, deserve our full commitment to expanding options for prevention, treatment, and support. Investment in medical research will not only benefit individuals but will also strengthen communities and contribute to our nation's security.
Please know that as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), I will continue working in a bipartisan manner to improve the Affordable Care Act, lower insurance premiums, and ensure that our nation's hospitals, research facilities, and federal agencies have adequate resources to carry out their missions.
Inaction is not a solution to our problems. There are many good ideas for improving our health care system, and through common ground and compromise, we can find credible solutions. I will be sure to keep your views in mind as the Senate considers legislation affecting our health care system. Thank you again for contacting me.
Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for reauthorizing the Older Americans Act.
As we work in the Senate to meet the enormous challenges facing this country, your views and those of your fellow Virginians are very important to me.
I am honored to serve Virginia as your United States Senator, and am glad that you took the time to send me your thoughts.
If you need additional information or if there’s another issue that’s important to you, please visit my website at: http://www.warner.senate.gov where you may send a message to me or sign-up for email updates to get the latest on my work in the Senate. You may also follow me at: http://www.facebook.com/MarkRWarner/ andhttps://twitter.com/MarkWarner.
MARK R. WARNER
United States Senator