Older Americans Act Reauthorization

The Older Americans Act

Since 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) has been essential to developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community-based services that help vulnerable older adults age with dignity. Most recently reauthorized in 2016, the OAA funds vital services that keep older adults healthy and independent in their homes and communities, including: congregate and home-delivered meals, job training, senior centers, respite and other caregiver supports, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment, and various elder justice initiatives. More than 12 million people rely on Older Americans Act services each year.  Learn more about the OAA.

LSA’s Position

LSA strongly supports S. 192, the bipartisan bill to reauthorize the OAA signed by President Obama on April 19, 2016.  The new law includes modest changes to key OAA programs, updates important definitions, and makes thoughtful adjustments designed to reflect the realities facing current and future seniors. 

Latest News

LSA Statement on Signing of the Older Americans Act

April 22, 2016 - On April 19, President Obama signed S. 192 into law, reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2018.  LSA has strongly supported S. 192 since it was introduced at the beginning of the 114th Congress.  The new law, which protects core OAA programs and makes modest changes to the Act, is the culmination of over five years of legislative negotiations, bipartisan compromises, and  stakeholder advocacy. 

Expired since 2011, the OAA is essential to developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community-based services that support caregivers and help older adults live independently, with dignity and choice. Every day, more than two-thirds of LSA's 300 members serve seniors in communities across the country, delivering critical OAA services to those most in need.

In a statement immediately following the signing, LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker said:

"Today’s signing reaffirms our nation’s commitment to America's seniors, and the Older Americans Act's vital, cost-effective programs. We are extremely grateful to the Administration, members of Congress, and their staffs who worked tirelessly on this effort, and appreciate their leadership and dedication to a thoughtful, bipartisan reauthorization process. We now look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure the OAA receives adequate federal funding through the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process, so it may meet an ever-growing demand for services."

White House Statement on Signing of the Older Americans Act

April 21, 2016 – Today, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, issued a statement on the President’s signing of the Older Americans Act, noting, in part: “[W]e have a collective responsibility to make sure older Americans can both take advantage of the opportunities of their golden years and overcome the barriers that aging can create. That’s why President Obama was so proud to sign a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, a bill he had called on Congress to pass since last summer’s White House Conference on Aging.”  Read more from the White House.

Statement from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee on Older Americans Act Reauthorization Signed Into Law

April 19, 2016 – In a statement, Assistant Secretary Greenlee noted, in part “The OAA affects everyone – older adults, people who help support them, and all of us who hope to one day grow old. I am delighted to see its reauthorization, and I am deeply grateful for the renewed commitment to preserving the rights of all people, for the full course of our lives.” Read more from HHS.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Now Law

April 19, 2016 – Earlier today, President Obama signed S. 192 into law, bringing the lengthy Older Americans Act reauthorization process to close. Read more from the White House.

LSA Statement on Final Passage of the Older Americans Act

April 8, 2016 -  Yesterday, the US Senate unanimously approved legislation to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (S.192), sending the bipartisan bill to President Obama for his signature. LSA has strongly supported S. 192 since it was introduced at the beginning of the 114th Congress. The bill, which protects core OAA programs and makes modest changes to the Act, is the culmination of over five years of legislative negotiations, bipartisan compromises, and stakeholder advocacy.  The House previously approved the measure on March 21.

In a statement following Senate passage, LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker said:

“With unanimous passage of S. 192, both chambers of Congress have reaffirmed their commitment to the health and well-beging of older adults. We are deeply grateful to the lawmakers and staffers who worked tirelessly on this effort, including the 27 Senators who cosponsored S. 192.  LSA especially applauds the members and staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for their leadership and dedication to a thoughtful, bipartisan reauthorization process.   We now look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure the OAA receives adequate federal funding through the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process, so it may meet an ever-growing demand for services.” Read more from LSA.

Congress Votes to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act, Bipartisan Bill Heads to President’s Desk

April 7, 2016 – Earlier today, the US Senate unanimously approved the House’s amendments to S. 192, a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2018. Originally adopted by the upper chamber in July 2015, the House modified and passed its version of S. 192 last month.  A major advocacy victory, today’s vote sends the LSA-supported, bipartisan legislation to President Obama for his signature. Expired since 2011, the OAA is essential to developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community-based services that support caregivers and help older adults live independently, with dignity and choice.  Every day, more than two-thirds of LSA’s 300 members serve seniors in communities across the country, delivering critical OAA services to those most in need.  A summary of S. 192 as originally introduced in the Senate is available here.  A summary of the House amendment, agreed to by the Senate with today's vote, is available here.

LSA Commends House Passage, Encourages Senate to Adopt S. 192, As Amended

March 25, 2016 - In a statement on House passage, LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker said: “We support efforts to strengthen and sustain the OAA, and applaud the House’s commitment to a bipartisan reauthorization process that achieves these goals. As one of the largest networks of health and human services providers in the country, LSA members help older adults live more independent, healthy, and secure lives every day. More than two-thirds of our members serve seniors, including through the OAA’s critical home and community-based programs. We applaud the House’s approval of this critical legislation, and look forward to working with Senate leadership and the President to see OAA reauthorization signed into law this year.” Read more from LSA.

House Approves LSA-Endorsed OAA Reauthorization Bill 

March 22, 2016 - Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA).  The legislation slightly amends the OAA reauthorization measure (S. 192) adopted by the Senate last July.  The two chambers must now reconcile the discrepancies between their bills, which could be achieved by Senate endorsement of the House-passed version. As a result of ongoing bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, the Senate appears poised to do so as early as next month.  LSA applauds the House’s approval of this critical legislation, and we look forward to working with the Senate to ensure the final bill is signed into law this year.  Read LSA’s letter endorsing the House bill. 

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Process Continues

July 30, 2015 - In the wake of the US Senate passing the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S.192), LSA is joining leading advocate groups in concentrating on opportunities for passage in the House of Representatives. On July 27, LSA – along with 34 national organizations -  asked the House to swiftly consider S. 192.  The letter notes that passage would “build upon the unanimous support S. 192 received in the Senate, appropriately acknowledging the 50th anniversary of this crucial legislation and [lawmakers’] dedication to improving the lives of America’s seniors.” The letter is available here.

LSA Applauds Senate Passage of S. 192, Urges House Action

July 16, 2015 - In a statement on Senate passage of S. 192, LSA President and CEO Charlotte Haberaecker said: "As one of the largest networks of health and human services providers in the country, LSA members help older adults live more independent, healthy, and secure lives every day. More than two-thirds of our members serve seniors, including through the OAA’s critical home and community-based programs. As trusted community-based service providers, our members greatly value the OAA - from the programs it authorizes to the people it serves and the infrastructure it creates. We support efforts to strengthen and sustain the Act, and applaud the Senate’s commitment to a bipartisan reauthorization process that achieves these goals. We encourage the House of Representatives to build upon the momentum of the Senate’s unanimous support for S. 192 by swiftly bringing it to the House floor for consideration.  Final passage this month – during which we celebrate 50 years of the OAA – would appropriately honor the Act’s legacy and successes, while reaffirming lawmakers' dedication to improving the lives of America's seniors. We look forward to working with Members of the House and the President to see OAA reauthorization signed into law."  Read more from LSA.

Senate Clears OAA Reauthorization Bill

July 16, 2015 - Earlier today, the full Senate unanimously passed the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192), signaling its strong support for the vital home and community-based services that the Older Americans Act (OAA) authorizes and funds in communities across the nation. Introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) with Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), S. 192 includes a number of vital protections for older adults, their families, and their caregivers. Notably, the Senate passed the bill the same week that we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the OAA.  LSA applauds Senate passage of S. 192.  The bill is available here.

Senate HELP Committee Approves S. 192, Full Senate Consideration Next

January 28, 2015 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously approved the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192),  bipartisan legislation crafted by HELP committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), along with Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).  LSA has officially endorsed the bipartisan bill, which we believe is the best opportunity since the Act's expiration in 2011 to strengthen, reauthorize, and protect the OAA for current and future seniors.  Read more from the HELP Committee.  

LSA Endorses S.192, Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act

January 27, 2015 – Today, LSA wrote to leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and its Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, thanking them for prioritizing the health and well-being of older adults, families, and caregivers by introducing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the OAA.  In the letter, LSA officially endorsed the legislation, The Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2015 (S. 192), and urged the Committee to favorably report the measure to the Senate without delay.  The bill was introduced on January 20, and is largely unchanged from the LSA-endorsed legislation that received Senate Committee approval in the 113th Congress.  The main difference is that the recently-introduced legislation includes changes to the existing Title III  funding formula, a compromise necessary to assure HELP Committee passage.  Read the letter, bill text, and the HELP Committee one-page summary.