Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act has passed the U.S. Senate and will now be sent to President Obama for his signature, ending a long gap in affirming important programs serving older adults.
New York (April 8, 2016)–Representing nearly 6,000 healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older adults, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) commends the U.S. Senate on passing a House-amended version of the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Act of 2015, key legislation to deliver social and protective services to older Americans through 2018.
Introduced by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2015, the bill will strengthen landmark legislation originally passed in 1965—and overdue for reauthorization since 2011. Among other objectives, the legislation aims to address elder abuse; evidence-based care; effective coordination of services at the federal, state, and local levels; and several other challenges confronting older Americans and their healthcare professionals.
“The OAA reflects our national commitment to protect and provide for generations of older Americans who helped shape the society we now share,” said AGS CEO Nancy E. Lundebjerg, MPA. “It’s important that all branches of government stand behind legislation like the OAA, which reflects the attention and respect that older adults deserve.”
The OAA Reauthorization Act of 2015 will now be sent to President Obama for his signature—the last step on the road to implementation and one that represents the culmination of bipartisan efforts to promote the health, independence, and well-being of older adults across the U.S.
“Reauthorizing the OAA is as important as ever to modernizing and improving the aging services network in our country. It’s passage reflects the heroic efforts of many advocates working together to educate Congress about how programs funded by the OAA support older Americans,” observed Steven R. Counsell, MD, AGSF, AGS President.
About the American Geriatrics Society
Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit americangeriatrics.org.