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Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging is committed to staying engaged in, and sharing, the latest public policy news affecting older adults, caregivers and the professionals who care for them.

Check out current policy news below!

Economic Stimulus Legislation

On May 15, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act, which would provide an additional $3 trillion in supplemental funding to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate is developing its own bill, and the differences will have to be worked out. Final action on the supplemental bill is not expected until late June at the earliest.

Previous emergency funding bills include:

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which contains $250 million in emergency funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) senior nutrition programs.
  • The CARES Act (H.R. 784), which includes hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency funding for Older Americans Act programs and funding for other programs impacting older adults.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), which does not include additional funding for OAA programs. The Act does include emergency funding for hospitals and national coronavirus testing.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Update

In March 2020, the Senate and House of Representatives both unanimously passed the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 (H.R. 4334), a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which was initially passed into law in 1965. This bipartisan, five-year reauthorization bill is supported by dozens of other aging organizations, including the members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations. The bill was signed into law March 25, 2020.

The law provides funds for critical services that help older adults maintain their health and independence, including home- and community-based services, meals, job training, senior centers, caregiver support, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment and more.
Important provisions of the bill include:

  • Increased authorizations of more than 35 percent over the next five federal fiscal years for every Older Americans Act program, such as The Home-Delivered Nutrition Program.
  • Inclusion of social isolation screening and further coordination of services to address this issue, as well as a report on how social isolation is currently addressed in the community through existing services.
  • Support to caregivers.
  • Establishment of a National Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Center for the aging network. 
  • Addition of new preventive health measures, such as malnutrition screening. The bill restates the highly successful Falls Prevention and Chronic Disease Self-Management Education programs into the Act.

Washington Update

The Washington Update is produced monthly with our partners at Matz, Blancato & Associates to share the latest information about policy issues impacting older adults and their families. Subscribe here.

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