ADvancing States would like to commend the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee for today’s vote on the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2015 (S. 192). The HELP committee has worked hard to develop a bipartisan bill that will continue crucial supports for our nation’s seniors, as well as continue to strengthen the coordination and collaboration between aging and disability services. ADvancing States members believe that the OAA is a vital component of our nation’s long-term services and supports system and is essential in supporting our nation’s seniors. The Older Americans Act has been due for reauthorization since 2011, and we strongly support an expedited renewal of the Act. We thank the members and staff for quickly introducing this bill and passing it from the committee. We believe that these actions demonstrate a strong commitment to passing the reauthorization. Today’s vote is encouraging, and we urge the Senate to quickly pass this bipartisan bill.
ADvancing States is supportive of many provisions in the legislation, including those which seek to modernize the OAA to reflect the current and future realities of the Aging Network. In particular, we support the language that amends the Act to promote state flexibility, person-centeredness, and cultural and linguistic competence in the administration and delivery of OAA services. In addition, we believe those provisions that would improve the economic security of older adults; strengthen care coordination efforts; protect seniors from abuse, neglect, and exploitation; enhance the efficacy of evidence-based programs; and modernize senior centers would help build the capacity of the Network to meet the needs of a growing, and increasingly diverse, population. Finally, we strongly support efforts to improve the coordination and integration between aging and disability services within ADRCs and other delivery mechanisms.
Click here to read the letter ADvancing States submitted to the Senate HELP committee.
About ADvancing States
ADvancing States represents the 56 officially designated state and territorial agencies on aging and disabilities. Each of our members oversees the implementation of the Older Americans Act (OAA), and many also serve as the operating agency in their state for Medicaid waivers that serve older adults and individuals with disabilities. Together with our members, we work to design, improve, and sustain state systems delivering home and community based services and supports for people who are older or have a disability, and their caregivers.