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NPA Says House of Representatives' Passage of Bill to Provide Veterans Additional Access to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Will Improve Their Lives; Urges Swift Senate Passage
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On the second anniversary of the passing of the Honorable Bob Dole (R-KS), the National PACE Association (NPA) praises the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act (H.R. 542) by a vote of 414-5, which will give veterans increased access to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly across the nation. We urge the Senate to pass this bill soon so more veterans can enjoy the highest quality of life possible as they age by receiving any care needed at home or in the community.
The legislation would establish formal partnerships between Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) located within their geographic service areas. This policy change would broadly increase access for veterans to the innovative PACE model of care so they may continue to live at home, despite needing a nursing home level of care.
NPA commends the bill sponsor, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health, for her strong and tireless leadership on this important legislation, as well as lead co-sponsor Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1), Committee on Veterans' Affairs chair Mike Bost (R-IL-12), and ranking member Mark Takano (D-CA-39) for their efforts to help more veterans receive needed care at home and in the community.
Health Subcommittee ranking member Brownley added "I have also spoken with countless veterans and their loved ones, and based on my experience, one thing is very clear: Almost every veteran would prefer to age at home rather than in a facility. However, for many veterans, doing so requires certain clinical support that can be prohibitively expensive if not covered by the VA. . . . H.R. 542 would help relieve this heartache and give families access to programs that will help veterans stay in their homes and receive the care they need, the care that they have earned, and the care that they deserve."
"As studies show and as many of the older Veterans throughout our Nation will attest, care in home settings is often preferable to care in a clinical facility. This is especially true for those disabled and elderly Veterans living in rural and remote communities like Michigan's First Congressional District. The Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act recognizes this reality, and I'm proud to join Rep. Julia Brownley, to comprehensively expand access, options, and programs for these Veterans who deserve care in the comfort of their home," said Rep. Bergman, lead cosponsor of the bill.
Chairman Bost said "I'm thrilled by the passage of the Dole Act, named after a woman who has made huge strides in her lifetime to improve the lives of our veterans and their caregivers, Senator Elizabeth Dole. H.R. 542 will do just that by making drastic improvements to VA's Home and Community-Based services for our elderly veteran community. The enhancements the Dole Act would create will allow veterans to "age-in-place" in the comfort of their homes, rather than in long-term care facilities. Having served our nation in uniform, these men and women deserve to make the call on how they want to spend their sunset years. I know that this bill will improve quality of life for many of our veterans, and look forward to working with Senate to enact it as part of a larger package off veterans legislation."
Ranking member Takano stated, "This important legislation will enable veterans to remain at home, safely age in place, and avoid or delay admission to nursing homes and other costly institutional settings of care. And it is supported by every major VSO and partners like the National PACE Association. I thank and applaud Congresswoman Julia Brownley for her efforts on crafting this bill and getting it over this first hurdle."
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SOURCE National PACE Association