Education and Labor Committee Approves Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and Labor approved the Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334), a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA). H.R. 4334 increases funding for vital programs that help aging Americans live independently and with dignity.

The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally passed in 1965, is the primary legislation that covers social and nutrition services for older Americans and their caregivers. The Dignity in Aging Act responds to the challenges facing a growing generation of aging Americans by providing a 35 percent total increase in program funding for OAA over five years.

“As the population of Americans age 60 and over has grown, funding for OAA has not kept pace. In 2010, OAA funding was $42.95 per senior in today’s dollars.  Today, it is just $27.25 per senior. As a result of eroded funding, OAA services do not reach 83 percent of low-income older Americans who experience food insecurity,” said Chairman Bobby Scott at today’s markup.Congress must recommit to providing critical services and care to aging Americans”

The Dignity in Aging Act responds to the challenges facing a growing generation of aging Americans. The bill:

  • Authorizes a 7 percent funding increase for OAA programs in the first year, then annual 6 percent increases in the following years;
  • Establishes a National Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Center for the Aging Network in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of HHS;
  • Creates an initiative to coordinate federal resources to promote the independence and safety of adults living at home as they age;
  • Provides more tailored support to family caregivers who play a vital role in helping again Americans maintain their independence; and
  • Puts a stronger focus on addressing social isolation among seniors by empowering local organizations to test local solutions.

The Dignity in Aging Act fact sheet is available here.



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