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U.S. Senators introduce legislation to create commission on long-term care services

U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the Supporting Our Seniors Act to create a National Advisory Commission on long-term care services for seniors and individuals in need of care and long-term support. In 2013, the Commission on Long Term Care made a key recommendation to create a national advisory committee to continue and expand upon their work. This bipartisan legislation would create that commission to assess and provide regular reporting to Congress on service delivery, financing, workforce adequacy and other issues to increase seniors’ access to affordable long-term care services.

“As our population ages, the need for long-term care assistance will increase,” said Boozman. “Establishing a national advisory commission will help us better prepare for future challenges including coordinating services, training a workforce to meet seniors’ and individuals’ with disabilities needs and providing information and options to empower them and their caregivers with the resources available. I’m pleased to join Senator Rosen in leading this initiative.”

“Like so many Americans who have cared for loved ones, I know the importance of ensuring that our seniors have access to the care and support services they need to live their day-to-day lives,” said Rosen. “This bipartisan legislation will create a commission to further examine challenges and needs in long-term care services, as well as provide specific recommendations, so that Congress can make informed decisions on behalf of our seniors and others in need of quality, affordable long-term support and care.”

This legislation is endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, the Health Care Chaplaincy Network, the Hospice Action Network, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

“The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine is proud to offer its strong support for the Supporting Our Seniors Act, and we commend Sen. Rosen for her leadership in recognizing the importance of integrating palliative care to improve long-term care,” said Tara C. Friedman, MD, President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. “A growing number of older Americans are living with serious or complex chronic illnesses, creating significant caregiving responsibilities for families. Understanding and addressing their palliative care needs is critical to ensure that older adults and those with serious illness receive the care they want where they want to receive it.”

“NHPCO and HAN are proud to endorse the Supporting Our Seniors Act which will establish a committee to foster bipartisan, transformative changes to better provide individuals with disabilities and seniors access to comprehensive, person-centered care,” said Ben Marcantonio, COO and Interim CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Hospice Action Network. “We thank Senators Rosen and Boozman for their leadership on these issues which positively impact the hospice and palliative health communities.” 

“With the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease expected to nearly double and total payments for health care costs projected to reach nearly $1 trillion by 2050, our nation must take action to improve long-term care. The Supporting our Seniors Act will establish a bipartisan national advisory commission that will provide policymakers with an actionable plan to increase access to crucial long-term care services and supports,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy Officer and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. “Thank you to Senators Rosen and Boozman for introducing this critical legislation and for your continued leadership on issues important to Americans impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”

The National Advisory Commission created by this legislation would include government and private-sector stakeholders, along with family caregivers, home health care workforce representatives and long-term care service recipients.

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