*This letter was also sent to Senator Patty Murray
January 26, 2015
The Honorable Lamar Alexander, Chairman
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Alexander:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse S. 192, the bipartisan “Older Americans Act Amendments of 2015,” which you introduced along with Senators Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders and Richard Burr.
S. 192 builds on the core programs of the Older Americans Act (OAA) – including congregate and home-delivered meals, help for family caregivers, transportation and senior center services – which enable older adults to remain as independent as possible. We support provisions in S. 192 that protect against elder abuse and strengthen long-term care ombudsman services, as well as programs such as fall prevention and chronic disease self-management that promote healthy living. OAA services help seniors avoid hospitalizations and nursing home care, and, as a result, save federal and state funds that otherwise would be spent on such care. In addition to reauthorizing OAA programs, increasing OAA funding is crucial to meet the growing needs of seniors and to compensate for the lack of adequate funding over past years, a funding shortfall that was aggravated by the sequester.
Thank you for your leadership on reauthorizing the Older Americans Act, which was first enacted 50 years ago. We look forward to continuing to work with you to improve the Act’s programs, which are so vital to seniors and their families, to target them to individuals with the greatest economic and social needs and to secure adequate funding to meet the challenges presented by our growing elderly population.