Today AARP applauds the quick, bipartisan action on S. 192, the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Patty Murray (D-WA), and also cosponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Isaakson (R-GA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
“AARP urges passage of this bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Older Americans Act,” said AARP Vermont State Director Greg Marchildon. “This bill is crucial to millions of vulnerable older Americans, providing vital programs and services as well as respite to family caregivers. AARP is pleased with its swift passage through the Senate HELP Committee and we applaud the steadfast and vocal support of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on this critical issue. AARP urges the full Senate to act swiftly to pass this bill.”
This carefully crafted legislation reflects over three years of bipartisan work reflected in a balanced, pragmatic approach to helping older Americans live longer with independence and dignity in their homes and communities.
The OAA reauthorization addresses AARP’s core concern that any proposed legislation include protection of an essential array of programs and services that assist, protect, nourish and sustain the nation’s older Americans, help them maximize their choices, and promote dignity and independence in a fiscally responsible way. The OAA helps save precious federal and state tax dollars by keeping older Americans out of nursing homes and preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions.
Since it was enacted into law in 1965, millions of our most vulnerable older Americans have relied on the services provided by the OAA for their health and economic security. These services help older Americans live independently by:
- Supporting nutrition programs, including Meals-on-Wheels;
- Providing home and community-based services, including preventive health services and transportation assistance;
- Assisting family caregivers with information and referral, counseling and respite care;
- Preventing and detecting elder abuse; and
- Providing part-time community service employment and training, including the Senior Community Employment Program (SCSEP), which has helped more than 1 million older Americans enter the workforce.