May 2023 – Advocacy Action Alert: FY 2024 OLDER AMERICANS ACT FUNDING
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! SUPPORT OLDER AMERICANS ACT FUNDING
The Senior Alliance has been urging our U.S. Senators and Representatives to sign onto critical letters supporting strong investments for Older Americans Act funding. With appropriations season heating up on Capitol Hill, we now need you to take action!
The Senior Alliance fully supports USAging’s annual appropriations request letter to Congress, which outlines the critical importance of investing in the Older Americans Act (OAA) and other vital discretionary programs that help older adults live with independence at home. As always, we will follow up on these advocacy points via meetings with our elected officials. But that’s not enough: we need Congress to hear directly from their constituents—and that’s where you and our new FY 2024 appropriations campaign come in.
We need our allies to raise their voices in support of OAA funding. We must ensure that all members of Congress know that the Aging Network is seeing increased need overall and an increased complexity of need post-pandemic—and the demographics will only increase these levels of need in the near future. If Congress doesn’t invest in these vital programs and services, they are risking the health, well-being, and independence of their older constituents!
Use the sample text below as a template for an email or letter to your member of Congress. Links to their website comment pages are included below.
TEMPLATE FOR E-MAIL OR LETTER TO U.S. SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
Honorable [REP/SEN NAME] [Office Address]
Washington, DC [20510 for Senate/20515 for House]
Dear [Representative/Senator NAME]:
I am writing regarding FY 2024 federal funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs and services within the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
Funding for OAA programs and services is essential to the health and independence of millions of older adults and caregivers, including the 240,000 of the older adults and caregivers that live in western Wayne County and Downriver. These OAA programs and services are funded through the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the federal level to our state government and then developed, coordinated, and delivered locally by Area Agencies on Aging, like The Senior Alliance in partnership with a network of community providers.
Unfortunately, even though demand for home and community-based services among America’s rapidly aging population is widely acknowledged, the OAA remains underfunded. The previous, typically modest, increases in OAA funding do not reflect the current and future need that exists in our community.
The COVID-era level of funding is what is actually needed even as the pandemic comes to an end, as it reflects a burgeoning older adult population and the increasing complexity of the needs of the older adults we serve. Significant increases in appropriations are also required to ensure we can provide the direct care support that people require to be able to age well at home and avoid institutionalization. Current challenges with the direct care workforce have made it more difficult to meet the demand for these in-home services and supports.
Our requests for these long-overdue sustainable investments are essential for us to continue carrying out our mission—supporting the ability of older adults to age well at home safely and with dignity, as we all hope to do.
While I support increases to every part of the OAA, I encourage you to prioritize and significantly increase the capacity of two OAA programs: Title III B Home and Community-Based Supportive Services and Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program. OAA Title III B is our most flexible source of OAA funding and a backbone set of services that proved especially invaluable throughout the pandemic.
For FY 2024, we also encourage Congress to double FY 2023 appropriations for the National Family Caregiver Support Program to reach $410 million. It is the only national program supporting the family caregivers of older adults who provide the lion’s share of long-term care in this country.
I urge you to make wise federal investments in programs that help older adults age well in their homes and communities and that support caregivers.
In the interest of the older adults that we serve and that you represent I hope you will support, and urge your colleagues to support, a full-year FY 2024 funding bill that includes significant increases for critical OAA and other aging programs that reflect the incredible need for these aging services that exists in our community and around the country.
Contact your Michigan Federal Delegation Members at the links below:
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
Congressman Shri Thanedar
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Gary Peters
QUESTIONS: Please contact Edward Webster, Government Relations Assistant, with any advocacy or public policy questions via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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