Legislation Introduced in Senate to Reauthorize Older Americans Act

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by NADO Admin

On September 19, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, introduced legislation (S. 3562) to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, a bill that directs social service programs for seniors.

First enacted in 1965, the Older Americans Act (P.L. 89-73) established the Administration on Aging and now authorizes a large number of social and nutrition programs for seniors. Although the last reauthorization (P.L. 109-365) expired Sept. 30, 2011, most programs have continued to receive funding through the annual appropriations process.

The reauthorization measure, co-sponsored by 15 Democratic Senators, incorporates at least 10 bills introduced by several Democratic Senators.  The bill includes language from legislation sponsored by Chairman Sanders (S. 2037) that would provide a 50 percent increase (over FY2011 levels) to programs in four areas: nutrition services (including the Meals on Wheels program) to $1.2 billion; the Senior Community Service Employment Program to $660 million; supportive services to $551 million; and disease prevention and health promotion services to $32 million. It is important to note that the funding levels for these programs would be ultimately be determined by appropriators.

The measure also incorporates language from Chairman Sanders’ bill that would require the U.S. Department of Labor to make changes to the experimental consumer price index for the elderly. The revisions would be aimed at making it a reliable measure to determine cost-of-living adjustments for Americans 62 and older.

While Chairman Sanders acknowledged that the bill will most likely not see action this year, he hopes that the issue will be revisited after the November elections or early next year.

This entry was posted in Aging, Latest News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.