When we think of health care policy affecting seniors, we probably think of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Of course the stability of these programs is tremendously important, but there are a number of other policy issues that are of equal significance. The National Council on Aging (NCOA), a non-profit advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, outlines six top issues in a recent article, encouraging older adults and their caregivers to “understand, track, and speak out on in 2012.”
The Older Americans Act (OAA), which funds programs that keep seniors “healthy and independent in their communities” is up for reauthorization. Programs like senior centers, caregiver support, and disease prevention are among those that rely on OAA funding.
Making headlines a few months back was the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Program), which had been passed by Congress though implementation was ultimately suspended. This voluntary long-term care insurance program was designed to help individuals pay for home care, assisted living care, or other long-term care services without spending down assets and life savings.
Also on the list are extensions of Medicare low-income protections, senior program funding cuts, access to preventive benefits and hunger/food insecurity.