Leadership of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) participated in a White House Community Leaders Briefing on Senior Issues on Monday, July 23. Members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), including NAHC, were invited to the briefing.
The briefing featured senior White House officials in a wide ranging discussion of seniors issues, with a special focus on health care policy concerns. Several seniors were invited to tell their stories about the difference Medicare and Medicaid had made in their lives. Vice President Joe Biden joined the group at the conclusion of the briefing. He pledged to protect Medicare and Medicaid and oppose elements of the House Republican budget blueprint that he said would undermine these programs.
The meeting was a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to have a two-way dialogue with the White House about issues affecting their communities. Home care industry representatives raised concerns about proposals to impose Medicare home health copays. They stressed how copays would restrict access to home health care and result in big increases in expensive hospital and nursing home care. They also encouraged the White House to support the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act that would allow nurse practitioners to sign home health plans of care.
Among those representing the Administration at the briefing were the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; the Associate Director for Health at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); the Director of the National Economic Council; the Assistant Secretary for Aging; and the Special Assistant to the President on Labor and Workforce Policy.