March 20, 2023 Advocacy Alert




Call Your Representatives TODAY and Urge Them to Sign on to the
Bipartisan OAA and Fall Prevention Letters! 

March 20, 2023
 
Two letters circulating in the U.S. House of Representatives call for increased funding for Older Americans Act and fall prevention programs—and we are in immediate need of your advocacy to help ensure we collect enough signatures to convince the appropriations subcommittee to take these requests seriously!

Member signatures for the OAA letter are due by close of business, tomorrow, March 21 and signatures for the Fall Prevention Programs letter are due March 22 so please do your outreach TODAY, then encourage others in your community to do the same!

About the Letters

Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) are once again leading the charge for increased funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA)! In a brand-new bipartisan letter to their congressional colleagues, Representatives Bonamici and Stefanik are calling for the support of their fellow Representatives in a request to House Appropriations Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee leaders to allocate $2.084 billion to OAA Title III for FY 2024. Additionally, Representatives Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Joe Morelle (D-NY) are seeking support to increase funding for programs aimed at preventing falls among older adults.

These requests come shortly after the recent release of President Biden’s FY 2024 budget, which included significant increases for FY 2024 OAA funding. These services are a clear priority for the Biden Administration and the time is now for Congress to address the critical funding necessary to sustain and expand these much-needed services.

Your persistent advocacy is vital to the FY 2024 annual appropriations process and will help determine next year’s OAA funding. The sign-on letter from Representatives Bonamici and Stefanik is just one of thousands sent to Appropriations Committee leaders regarding funding requests for various federal discretionary programs. Now more than ever, we need you to contact your Representative and drive signatures to the OAA letter—so appropriators recognize the BIPARTISAN support that already exists for increasing funding for these essential programs!

The OAA letter urges appropriators to fund the following key programs at a level that will enable the programs to better meet the growing needs among older adults:
  • OAA Title III B Home and Community-Based Supportive Services (HCBS) at $500 million;
  • OAA Title III C Congregate Nutrition Services and Home-Delivered Nutrition Services, including Meals on Wheels, at $1.284 billion;
  • OAA Title III D Evidence-Based Health Promotion and Disease Prevention programs at $50 million; and
  • OAA Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) at $250 million. 
  • The Falls Prevention Programs letter requests investments in an array of programs across the federal government, one of which is OAA III D Evidence-Based Health and Wellness.   
Action Requested
 
Call your Representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter circulated by Reps. Bonamici and Stefanik on OAA funding and the letter by Reps. Frankel and Morelle on fall prevention. You don’t have to be a policy expert to make a difference, it’s really a simple phone call!

STEP 1:
Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act or appropriations issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find the number on your Member’s website.

STEP 2: Tell them about the bipartisan Bonamici-Stefanik OAA Dear Colleague letter and the Frankel-Morelle Fall Prevention Programs letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it. Tell them they can sign their boss on via Quill.

If they ask for a staff contact for Rep. Bonamici, tell them to contact Sujith Cherukumilli at Sujith.Cherukumilli@mail.house.gov.

If they ask for a staff contact for Rep. Frankel, tell them to contact Becca Flikier at Becca.Flikier@mail.house.gov.

STEP 3: Let them know exactly why you want your Member to sign on to both letters. Give local statistics that demonstrate the need for an increase in OAA funding. Make sure to highlight the growing demand for services in your community. 

Encourage other advocates to do the same! Urge colleagues, advisory board members, volunteers and clients to make calls to their Representatives, as well. We have a very short window of opportunity, so we need you and your colleagues to act fast on these requests!

Thank you for your advocacy!

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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact Amy Gotwals at agotwals@usaging.org and Olivia Umoren at oumoren@usaging.org.


USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2024 winners!