LCAO Urges Congress to Increase Funding for Older Americans Act

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition of 71 national nonprofit organizations that advocates on behalf of seniors for health-related issues, recently sent Congress a letter urging the funding of the Older Americans Act (OAA).

The letter, which can read in its entirety here, calls the OAA “the backbone of the nation’s long-term services and supports system,” citing its work in providing services such as home care, home-delivered meals, transportation, disease prevention and elder abuse prevention. The OAA also provides funds for the long-term care ombudsman program, which addresses complaints from nursing homes and assisted living facilities and aims to protect vulnerable residents.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 resulted in cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, which includes the OAA. As such. The LCAO believes the proposed funding for the OAA is inadequate and is requesting an increase for FY 2015. While giving credit to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, led by Budget Chairs Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) to reduce sequestration’s impact, the LCAO notes that even with the Ryan-Murray agreement in place, FY 2015 funding is approximately 15% below the FY 2010 level, adjusted for inflation.

In addition to calling for the OAA to be funded at pre-sequester FY 2010 levels, the group also requests the first appropriations for the Elder Justice Act funding at $25 million, which was enacted in 2010.

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