LeadingAge Demonstrating Success in DC

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

 LeadingAge Demonstrating Success in DC

In 2015, LeadingAge achieved a number of legislative achievements in Congress on behalf of the membership.
 
These include:
  • Senior housing and aging services funding for 2016: The Bipartisan Budget Act, P.L. 114-74, which we strongly supported, lifted spending caps imposed on these programs and allowed for funding increases in fiscal 2016.
  • The Consolidated Appropriations Act, P.L. 114-113, subsequently passed by Congress contained the following funding for programs serving seniors:
  • Section 202 housing will receive $432.7 million, a $12.7 million increase over 2015 funding. This amount includes $77 million for service coordinators and existing congregate services grants. With carryover balances and residual receipts, the funding should be sufficient for all renewals and amendments of project-based rental assistance contracts, senior preservation rental assistance contracts, and existing congregate services grants. We worked hard to make sure 2016 funding would be available for all of these accounts, as appropriations legislation drafted earlier this year would have been insufficient. The omnibus spending bill also continues the Housing Trust Fund and restores funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to $950 million, a $50 million increase over 2015. States use these programs to increase the supply of affordable housing.
  • Home- and community-based services: While spending legislation drafted earlier in the year threatened cuts in these programs, the final omnibus appropriations bill provides level spending or slight increases for Older Americans Act and other programs serving seniors. 
    • Older Americans Act congregate meal programs receive $448.3 million, a $10.1 million increase over fiscal 2015. 
    • Home delivered meals will get $226.3 million, a $9.9 million increase over 2015. 
    • Chronic disease self-management and falls prevention initiatives will be level-funded, receiving $8 million and $5 million respectively. 
    • Disease demonstration programs will get a $1 million increase, to $19.1 million. 
    • Lifespan Respite Care also will get another $1 million for a total of $3.4 million. 
    • LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program will be level-funded, receiving $3.39 billion. 
    • Social Services Block Grants, which many states use for services to seniors, also will be level-funded, at $1.7 billion. 
  • Low-income housing tax credit: Tax "extenders" provisions incorporated into the omnibus fiscal 2016 spending bill made permanent the minimum 9 percent credit rate for new development. We strongly advocated for this provision to give developers a predictable source of funding.
  • Tax incentives for charitable giving: The extenders section also made permanent the IRA rollover to charitable organizations, a potential source of fundraising for LeadingAge members.
  • Permanent Medicare "doc fix" - P.L. 114-10. This measure, which permanently reformed the Medicare physician payment schedule, extended the therapy caps exceptions process for two more years, through December 31, 2017, and made the medical review process less onerous.
  • International trade legislation: We succeeded in removing provisions of this measure, now law, which would have extended the 2 percent cut in the Medicare payment update through the end of 2024 to offset the cost of trade adjustment assistance benefits. Our advocacy included contact with every member of Congress and a strong grassroots initiative by LeadingAge members.
  • PACE Innovation Act: this measure, now law, allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test different models of the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), including those serving high-need individuals aged 55 and under. P.L. 114-85.

 


    Is Professional Development on your calendar?
    Quality Care starts with well-informed staff.