Chair’s Letter to Congressional leadership urging that Congress to pass a clean debt limit increase. Benefits and services crucial for aging with health and independence such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Older Americans Act services, Elder Justice Act protections, and housing, food, transportation, and utility assistance should not be threatened.
Issue Area: Health
Chair’s Letter on 2022 Lame Duck Session
As Congress convenes for the 2022 lame duck session, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) reinforces its top priorities in the areas of appropriations and community services, health, income security, and lifting the debt ceiling, with a Chair’s Letter to House and Senate leadership.
Chair Comments on 2022 Section 1557 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
On behalf of the members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), the Chair submitted comments on the latest Section 1557 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to the Director for the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The current regulatory interpretation of Section 1557, the nondiscrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. This NPRM proposes to strengthen 1557 by extending these protections to persons identifying as LGBTQ+, persons with limited English proficiency, and older adults. Furthermore, the proposed rule would: require health insurance carriers or entities receiving federal dollars comply with 1557; apply the protections to Medicare Part B; and strengthen the process related to religious freedom objections.
LCAO Statement on Support for Senate Inflation Reduction Act Proposals to Reduce Health Care Costs for Older Adults
Public Relations Manager
National Council on Aging
Statement of Ramsey Alwin, Chair of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, on Support for Senate Reconciliation Proposals to Reduce Health Care Costs for Older Adults
Arlington, VA, August 2, 2022—The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) supports the Senate budget reconciliation proposals in the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce Medicare prescription drug costs and continue expiring Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium subsidies.
Specifically, the coalition supports the Senate prescription drug provisions to:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices
- Limit drug price increases
- Cap annual out-of-pocket costs at $2,000, including a smoothing mechanism to limit costs each month
- Reduce premiums and cost-sharing for low-income beneficiaries
We also support proposals to provide zero cost-sharing for vaccines and cap monthly insulin costs at $35 per month.
These provisions will go a long way in making prescription drugs much more affordable for millions of older adults, including those with the lowest incomes for whom expensive medications are out of reach.
LCAO also supports the Senate proposal to extend the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies for an additional three years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “[A] 64-year-old Marketplace enrollee making just over four times the poverty level in West Virginia or Wyoming would have to pay more than 40% of their income for a silver plan if they lost access to the ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] subsidies. That would amount to an increase of over 380% in their premium payment.”
In addition, we urge the Senate to include an investment in Medicaid home and community-based services, for example, by extending American Rescue Plan funding for these important services.
The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations is a coalition of 68 national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older population and committed to representing their interests in the policy-making arena. The chairing organization for the 2022-2023 year is the National Council on Aging. Learn more at https://www.lcao.org/. Follow @LCAgingOrgs.
Chair’s Letter on COVID-19 Supplemental Funding
The undersigned members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) are writing to urge Congress to swiftly and fully fund the White House’s request for supplemental appropriations to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We thank Congress for taking action on previous COVID-19 relief funding, including on some provisions for which LCAO previously advocated.
LCAO Chair Letter on Mental Health of Older Adults
Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition of 68 national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older populations, wish to highlight pathways to more affordable and accessible behavioral health services and programs for older adults. We recommend 1) facilitating the growth of the behavioral health workforce; 2) ensuring mental health parity in Medicare; 3) increasing funding for proven federal programs to achieve improvements; 4) ensuring better integration of behavioral and physical health care; 5) robustly funding crisis support; and 6) removing remaining barriers to accessing telemental health care. The body of our letter identifies major barriers to care and includes general policy recommendations, and the appendix cites specific bipartisan legislation that aims to address some, or all of the issues raised. In some cases, where there is not yet proposed legislation that would accomplish our recommendations, we urge Congress to create new bills.
Chair’s Statement on Support of the Build Back Better Legislation
Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) is a coalition of 67 national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older population and committed to representing their interests in the policy-making arena.
As the Chair, I underscore LCAO’s continued strong support for the Build Back Better legislation and urge the Senate to protect and expand the bill’s resources to provide much needed assistance and relief for older adults and their families. Build Back Better contains historic investments in essential services that Americans overwhelmingly support.
Statement in Support of COVID-19 Booster Shots for Older Adults and Those Who Care for Them
Due to concerns about the most recent COVID-19 variant, Omicron, and the ongoing proliferation of the Delta variant, our coalition of national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older people urges all fully vaccinated older adults, and the paid and unpaid people who care for them, to receive a booster shot of one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. If older adults are not yet fully vaccinated, we urge them to protect themselves with COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more on LCAO supporting COVID-19 booster shots for older adults and those who care for them.
Chair’s Letter on Build Back Better
I write as chair of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations to express LCAO’s strong support for the legislation comprising the Build Back Better Act passed by the House Budget Committee on September 25, 2021.
Read LCAO chair Katie Smith Sloan’s letter on the LCAO’s support for the legislation comprising the Build Back Better Act.
Letter of Support for Budget Reconciliation Elder Justice Provisions
The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) is a coalition of 69 national nonprofit organizations concerned with the well-being of America’s older population and committed to representing their interests in the policy-making arena. LCAO commends your commitment to providing funding and support for Adult Protective Services (APS) programs and the long-term care ombudsman program throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To build upon these efforts to help address the needs of our nation’s aging population, we are writing in support of S.2674/H.R.4969, the Elder Justice Reauthorization and Modernization Act of 2021.