December 15, 2022 Advocacy Alert
Raise Your Voice for OAA Funding Just One More Time in 2022!
December 15, 2022
With Congress finally agreeing on the overall amount of money to spend on FY 2023 discretionary appropriations—as well as how much for defense and how much for everything else—it looks like Congress will be home for the holidays (eventually). But before we all wind down this year, we need advocates to reach out ONE MORE TIME to ensure that the spending levels reached by Congress in the next week reflect the needs of the older adults and caregivers that you serve!
What Congress Needs to Do:
When the continuing resolution (CR) keeping the government open absent final FY 2023 spending bills expires tomorrow, December 16, Congress is working on passing another CR to buy itself one more week to pass the omnibus legislation, which consists of all 12 appropriations bills.
That means that all final spending decisions on thousands of federal programs will be decided by appropriators in the next few days and into early next week —and likely signed into law before Christmas.
Remember, there were increases in the Democrats’ proposed bills earlier this year for all of our priorities, but the final bipartisan bill will have less money to spend.
Will Older Americans Act programs get any increases? Will any OAA increases all go to nutrition services, as some congressional champions have recently pushed for—or will you, as AAAs and Title VI programs, help secure increases for OAA Title III B Supportive Services and Title VI Native American Aging Programs, as well?
What You Need to Do:
Please reach out again to your congressional delegation on the need for Older Americans Act funding increases (specifically OAA Title III B or Title VI as meals programs already have a lot of political support).
How to Take Action Now:
It is imperative that all Senators and Representatives hear from OAA champions in their state and constituents who benefit from the OAA programs and services that your agency delivers.
CALL NOW: 202.224.3121
PHONE SCRIPT to Customize:
“I am [NAME] with [AGENCY] and am calling to urge the [SENATOR/REP] to ensure that the spending bill being considered by Congress right now includes increases in Older Americans Act Title III B Supportive Services [Tribes should list Title VI here and below instead]. While the OAA meals programs get a lot of the attention and are very important to meeting the nutritional needs of those we serve, it’s the funding source of OAA Title III B Supportive Services that allows our Area Agency on Aging to provide the full suite of services that people need to remain independent and healthy at home, such as in-home assistance with daily tasks, transportation, home modifications, adult day services, case management and so much more….[describe all the ways you use this funding to support older adults to age well at home]. Please let the [SENATOR/REP] know I’d appreciate if [HE/SHE] checked on the status of this funding with their colleagues making these final decisions and urged special attention to Older Americans Act [Title III B/Title VI].
THEN EMAIL: Here’s a template to customize. Look on your Members’ websites to find emails or use their email form.
Dear Senator LASTNAME/Representative LASTNAME:
On behalf of [YOUR AGENCY NAME] in [AGENCY LOCATION/STATE], I am writing regarding the FY 2023 federal funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) and other aging programs within the U.S. Administration on Community Living (ACL) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
My ask of you is to weigh in on the final spending levels for the OAA as soon as possible, to ensure that adequate funding is provided for these life-saving services, but most especially OAA Title III B Supportive Services, which is our most flexible source of OAA funding that allows us to meet a wide range of older adults’ needs to in order to help them stay safe and independent in their homes and communities.
[INSERT LOCAL EXAMPLES OF HOW TITLE III B [or TITLE VI for Tribes] SUPPORTS OLDER ADULTS—INCLUDE LOCAL DATA IF POSSIBLE ABOUT THE VALUE OF III B SUPPORTS.]
We simply can’t afford to go another year with level annual funding when the aging population is growing—in size and complexity of needs that require support as people live longer. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance or a resource to you on the needs of older adults and caregivers in your [STATE/DISTRICT] and aging issues.
[YOUR NAME, AFFILIATION AND CONTACT INFO if not already in your email signature]
Please do take the 10-15 minutes total it should take you to send these emails. This is our time to make a final push!
Thank you for your advocacy!
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact Amy Gotwals at firstname.lastname@example.org.