The Senate Appropriations Committee, in their FY 2017 Labor-HHS funding bill, has proposed complete elimination of funding for the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP).
SHIPs receive funding under the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and oversee a network of more than 3,300 local SHIPs and over 15,000 counselors. SHIPs assist individuals in navigating the increasingly complex Medicare program and help beneficiaries make choices among a vast array of options to best meet their needs.
NANASP has signed a letter opposing the elimination of SHIPs which will be sent by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) to House leaders.
In advance of signing the letter, NANASP has surveyed its members to determine how much they work with the SHIP programs. Thank you to all who have responded! “We were pleased to get a large number of responses,” said Tony Sarmiento, NANASP Board Chair. “It has and will continue to help us with our advocacy efforts in the House to get them to restore this ill-advised cut.”
One NANASP member wrote in the survey, “Our small program funded at $31,000 serves over 4,000 persons each year helping them with their Medicare and insurance related issues, such as selecting a Part D provider, appealing a denial, following up on incorrect billing or fraud. We help our senior population save over $500,000 annually.”
This blog entry by Ronni Bennett has even more information about the SHIP elimination.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
NANASP has a new Take Action website, and you can easily send a letter directly to your Representative and Senators through it! Click here to send a letter to your Members of Congress, and tell them to Save Our SHIPs! Please send the Take Action link to your colleagues and friends—the House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the funding bill soon! Just click the “share” button and fill out the information.
NANASP and Meals on Wheels America sent letters to the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees in support of increased funding for OAA nutrition programs for FY 2017.
May 10, 2016 - NANASP submitted outside witness testimony to the Labor-HHS appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate in support of increased funding for the OAA nutrition programs and Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for FY 2017.
March 21, 2016 - The House of Representatives passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016, an amended version of the OAA reauthorization which passed the Senate in July 2015.
The bill was brought to the floor by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and it was passed under suspension of the rules unanimously.
Immediate Past Chair Paul Downey was present in the House gallery for the vote, and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) discussed the work of Downey’s organization, Serving Seniors, during the floor debate.
Since the bill was changed by the House, the new House version must now be passed by the Senate. We expect this to happen soon.
March 18, 2016 - NANASP signs/send letter of support to House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline and Ranking Member Bobby Scott for the 2016 House OAA Reauthorization. Read Letter
NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato contributes to this article published by SunSentinel about seniors finding themselves struggling to put food on their tables. Click Here to read the full article.
NANASP has collected #WHCOA Tweets from the White House Conference on Aging #WHCOA For more information visit https://storify.com/meponder/nanasp-collected-whcoa-tweets
Bob Blancato, Executive Director of NANASP Board of Directors, as well as Paul Downey, Immediate Past Chair and Tony Sarmiento, Vice Chair of Education attended the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) on Monday, July 13th in Washington, D.C.