Friday, July 01, 2022
Temperatures Soar & Budget Debate Heats Up
As summer heats up it’s a great time to sit in the shade, kick your shoes off, turn up the air conditioning, or drink lemonade by the pool. But it’s also a great time to get busy doing what only you – AgeGuide’s aging advocates – can do, and that’s reach out to those who represent you in the US Congress. This year your advocacy is especially critical as we address the ongoing and growing need for innovative and essential services because of the pandemic. Since it’s an election year and there are new district maps, you better believe your legislators want to hear from you in their home turf.
Congress is in session, which means that the House Appropriations Committee is getting ready to vote on spending limits and funding levels for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, critical to older adults as well as caregivers. A vote is likely in the next week.
In the last round of negotiations, Congress failed to reach a consensus on the overall FY 2023 budget numbers. Last week, the Labor Health and Human Services Committee marked up a bill to fund the Administration on Community Living (ACL) which funds OAA programs, at a level of $2.9 billion for FY 2023, an increase of $600 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
However, the final spending bill still requires your support! The full appropriations committee is expected to vote on the bill this week. We need your voice to help secure the highest possible spending levels for OAA programs to support older adults and caregivers.
The current appropriations bill includes:
- $1.3 billion for Senior Nutrition programs, an increase of $293 million above the FY 2022 enacted level;
- $450 million for Home and Community-based Supportive Services, an increase of $51 million above the FY 2022 enacted level;
- $142 million for Protecting Elder Rights and Preventing Abuse, an increase of $81 million above the FY 2022 enacted level to support Adult Protective Services Grants, and an increase of $17 million for the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program;
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the aging network met the relentless demands for services using innovative service delivery designs. Now, we need to ensure that FY 2023 appropriations support the continuation of these efforts for the long-term as populations and needs continue to increase.
The funding levels proposed in the Labor Health and Human Services Committee bill will help us sustain programs. To pass, legislators must understand the work of the aging network, why it matters, and that this work needs to be funded.
Dive In – Send a Letter!
Take a break from the summer sun and go all in to support aging services. Send a letter to your representatives in Congress today. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll be done before the barbeque heats up. Click here: https://ageguide.org/action-alert/#/.