5 Ways Congress Can Support Seniors in 2016

| February 3, 2016 | Email This Post Email This Post

3113893_sArlington, VA – In his final State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to strengthen Social Security and Medicare for all Americans. The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the nation’s leading advocate for older adults, offers five ways Congress can further support seniors this year.

“Older Americans deserve the support of their families, their communities, and their government to age independently and with dignity,” said Howard Bedlin, NCOA Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy. “We made important progress in 2015, but there is still work to be done on behalf of our nation’s seniors, especially those who are struggling. We are ready to work with Congress to find bipartisan solutions.”

1. Renew the Older Americans Act (OAA) and Elder Justice Act (EJA)

Renewing the OAA and EJA—both overdue for reauthorization—will strengthen and modernize aging services to meet the diverse needs of the growing older population. The OAA funds critical, cost-effective programs, including job training and placement under the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), health promotion and disease prevention, senior nutrition, senior centers, caregiver support, and more. The EJA provides for a nationally coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the silent crisis of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

“Last year, the Senate passed a strong bipartisan OAA reauthorization bill by unanimous consent. Now it’s time for the House to act,” Bedlin said. “Legislation to reauthorize the EJA was introduced last year with bipartisan support and awaits action.”

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