07.17.15

Senate Passes Older Americans Act, Bipartisan Legislation for Nearly 12 Million U.S. Seniors

This week marks the 50th anniversary of signing of Older Americans Act into law

WASHINGTON – Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine), commend the Senate passage of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation to continue social and nutrition services—from home-delivered meals to senior centers—for nearly 12 million U.S. seniors. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Older Americans Act into law.

“More and more seniors have been calling North Carolina home over the past 15 years,” said Burr. “Programs like the Older Americans Act ensure that local communities can help provide services to their older, and often most vulnerable, members. Current law doesn’t reflect where seniors are moving, meaning that states with the largest elderly populations don’t have sufficient funding for programs like Meals on Wheels. What the Senate passed today would reauthorize the Older Americans Act and help ensure that the funding is following those who most need it.”

Today is a good day for our nation’s seniors, as passage of this bipartisan legislation will continue services for the nearly 150,000 Tennesseans who rely on home-delivered meals, or on programs that provide rides to their doctors’ appointments or the grocery store,” said Alexander. “For 50 years, the Older Americans Act has provided grants to states so they can help millions of seniors age with dignity—helping them live more comfortably at home or ensuring high-quality care at a nursing home.”

“We should be doing everything we can to support our seniors in leading healthy, fulfilling lives, and that’s why I am proud our bipartisan bill passed the Senate to help make that a reality,” said Murray. “From putting in place stronger elder abuse protections to sustaining our investment in funding for Meals on Wheels, this legislation makes important improvements to the support and resources available to seniors in Washington state and across the country.

“The Older Americans Act programs have been extremely important for low-income older Vermonters and seniors across the country,” said Sanders.“Programs like home-delivered meals are a wise investment to keep seniors healthy and out of expensive hospitals and nursing homes. I am pleased to see this bill pass with such strong support today.”

“The Older Americans Act funds critical services in communities across the country that help to keep older adults healthy and independent,” said Collins. “This funding supports some of the most vital and successful programs for our nation’s seniors. It is also particularly significant that we have now passed this important reauthorization bill since July marks the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act.”

The Older Americans Act has been due for reauthorization since 2011.