Bold Budgets, Flexibility and Waivers Outlined in n4a’s Latest Letter to Capitol Hill
For the past few months, n4a members have led the charge in advocating for FY 2022 appropriations that reflect the level of OAA investment necessary to support long term sustainability in the ability to offer programs and services to aging adults in your communities. Recently, n4a reached out once again to appropriators and our congressional champions to highlight our support for the President's budget, bring attention to OAA match requirements in the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) and provide recommendations for OAA funding flexibility.
Highlighting support for the President's proposed increases to OAA, n4a's letter re-emphasizes specific appropriations asks for major increases in OAA subtitles including doubling Titles III B (Supportive Services), Title VI (Native American aging programs) and III D (evidence-based health and wellness) and increasing III E (National Family Caregiver Support Program) by at least 50 percent. This is the level of investment these programs should have had before COVID-19 and reflects what these programs will absolutely need after it. We recognize that ARPA and the COVID relief funding preceding it is a temporary fix and doesn't provide the security of long-term investments needed by AAAs and Title VI programs. Our letter reflects the need to establish a new baseline for OAA funding that will sufficiently support post-pandemic access to programs and services as well as tackle America's aging demographic growth.
Additionally, the appropriations letter addresses a concern many of you have voiced regarding ARPA match requirements. Our intent is to bring this urgent matter to the attention of appropriators as a potential avenue for rectifying the matter.
Finally, n4a addressed the issue of OAA program flexibility to protect OAA funding and prevent the Act from succumbing to the inadvertent creation of state block grant funding that limits local decision-making. Added to the Act in 1973, local AAA leadership in development, planning and delivery of aging services separates the Act from many others that are wholly state controlled. It is critical that the Act retains a healthy balance of state decision-making and oversight as well as Area Agency on Aging decision-making and oversight.
Read n4a's Latest Appropriations and Flexibility Letter Here.
For additional information and to support FY 2022 efforts, please visit n4a's Appropriations Advocacy Tools Page!
Want more federal policy updates? Attend the Live From DC session on Monday, July 19 at the n4a Annual Conference.