AARP applauds Congress for passing the long-awaited bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA) after the Senate passed the House-amended bill on April 7. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of S. 192, legislation that passed unanimously in the Senate in July 2015.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is the law that since 1965 has provided a variety of essential programs and services to our most vulnerable older Americans, including Meals on Wheels, access to abuse prevention services, transportation assistance and support for family caregivers. OAA programs save taxpayers money by reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions, and help older Americans stay in their homes and communities, where they want to be.
Since 2010, AARP has consistently supported congressional reauthorization of the OAA, which expired over four years ago. In July 2015, AARP applauded the Senate when it unanimously passed S. 192, a bipartisan three-year OAA reauthorization bill that made minor changes to strengthen and improve coordination of existing core services.
We appreciate the hard work of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House Education and the Workforce Committee. We would especially like to thank the committee leaders — Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in the Senate and Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) in the House — for their extensive leadership throughout this process and for working to improve the lives of millions of older Americans .
We would also like to acknowledge the sustained advocacy work of many aging organizations, including the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, and their members and volunteer advocates, without which the OAA reauthorization would not have gotten across the finish line.
AARP urges President Obama to quickly sign this bill into law.
Joyce Rogers is AARP senior vice president for government affairs.
K.J. Hertz is a senior legislative representative on the Federal Health & Family Team in AARP Government Affairs.
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