Skip to content
 

2020 Archives: Health and Family

AARP correspondence to lawmakers and regulators

The following documents related to health care concerns of people 50-plus are presented in reverse chronological order.

May

L: On May 27, 2020 AARP submitted a written statement for the hearing, “The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color” to U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady.  AARP knows this virus can affect people of all races and ethnicities, but also that there is a striking racial divide in how COVID-19 has affected people across the country, including those living in nursing homes. (PDF)

L: On May 14, 2020 AARP along with 19 other organizations sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them all to provide the immediate assistance needed to prevent the default of the Postal Service (USPS), which is projected by the Board of Governors to occur by as early as this fall.  The 20 organizations also urged Congress to provide the urgently needed financial support to prevent the default from happening. More than ever before, people are relying on the USPS to deliver their lifesaving prescription medications and other necessities, allowing them to remain safely at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PDF)

L: On May 11, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary urging both to reject proposals to grant immunity related to COVID-19 for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities as the Committee holds a hearing entitled Examining Liability During the COVID-19 Pandemic. (PDF)

April

L: On April 28, 2020 AARP sent letters to the entire U.S. Congress and the Administration concerning the appalling numbers of deaths in nursing homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With at least 11,000 deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities already reported, the gravity of this situation cannot be overstated.  AARP is calling on Congress and the Administration to take immediate action to stem the loss of life and improve conditions in America’s long-term care facilities, including VA medical and community care and HUD supportive housing. (Congress: PDF) (Administration: PDF)

L: On April 24, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Roger Severino, Director at the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services supporting the OCR efforts to strongly oppose discrimination as our nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.  AARP has learned the painful lesson over the last several months that the virus can strike anyone. Therefore, it is imperative that those entrusted with deciding who gets access to healthcare do not discriminate. Using age or disability status to categorically exclude people from accessing treatment violates existing federal law, and AARP strongly opposes such discrimination. (PDF)

L: On April 24, 2020 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue expressing concern for the growing and urgent food needs across the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the gravity of the present challenge, AARP is calling on USDA to take additional needed steps to ensure all Americans have access to food in these times of need. (PDF)

L: On April 10, 2020 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) endorsing the Advancing Connectivity during the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors Act (ACCESS Act).  The Act will improve access to virtual visitation for nursing home residents and their families during the coronavirus public health emergency. (Senate – PDF) (House – PDF)

L: On April 8, 2020 AARP sent a letter to the entire Congress on behalf of all older Americans and their families who are being hit hard by both the health and financial impacts of the COVID-19  pandemic.  In the letter, AARP urged Congress to act on needed policies to support residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, individuals who need assistance to live in their homes and communities, and family caregivers.  AARP also urged Congress to expand access to food assistance, paid leave, and unemployment insurance benefits, as well as access to affordable health coverage, and to be mindful that the coronavirus can be spread by anyone, and the health impacts – while potentially more severe for older Americans – can occur across ages. (PDF)

C: On April 6, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services providing comments on the Proposed Rule for the calendar year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-For-Service, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits, and PACE programs.  (PDF)

March

L: On March 25, 2020 AARP sent a letter to all of Congress supporting the quick enactment of the bipartisan CARES Act, and called on Congress to continue their bipartisan work to address the further health needs not addressed in this package.  AARP knows that older Americans have been hit particularly hard by both the health and economic impacts of the pandemic and will need immediate relief as well as ongoing support in the coming days, weeks, and months. (PDF)

L: On March 20, 2020 AARP submitted a letter to Senator Robert Casey supporting several of the policies included in the Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act of 2020. The bill includes funding for nursing home surveys to promote infection control; funding for a number of Older Americans Act (OAA) programs including home delivered meals, the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), supportive services, and elder rights protection; and funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). (PDF)

L: On March 17, 2020 AARP submitted a letter to all Senators and Representatives outlining its legislative recommendations to Congress on how to best protect older Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. AARP recommends several changes to protect residents in nursing homes, providing needed relief from health expenses, economic shocks, supporting family caregivers, expanding telehealth, eliminating barriers to care, ensuring seniors don’t go hungry, and expanding access to affordable prescription drugs. (PDF)

L: On March 17, 2020 AARP submitted a letter to David Wright Director of the Quality, Safety & Oversight Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urging him to ensure that the new guidance for nursing homes prioritizes virtual visits and caregiver communications, while also expressing concern that it does not truly enable the critical need for nursing home residents and their families to virtually visit and communicate during this public health emergency. (PDF)

C: On March 6, 2020 AARP sent a comment letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn concerning a proposed rule entitled “Importation of Prescription Drugs.”  AARP has been at the forefront of enacting importation legislation at the state level and is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement these important state laws. (PDF)

L: On March 2, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Chairman Richard Shelby and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations and Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Kay Granger of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations urging them to immediately enact legislation providing ample resources needed to combat deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In addition, AARP is urging them to ensure that any vaccine or treatment for this virus be affordable and accessible to all. (PDF)

February

L: On February 24, 2020 AARP along with multiple national and state organizations sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) offering collective support for the bipartisan Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (S.995).  The legislation would reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $50 million over five years. The Lifespan Respite Care Program, though competitive grants to states to establish or enhance statewide Lifespan Respite systems, work to maximize existing resources and help ensure that quality respite is available and accessible to all family caregivers. (PDF)

L: On February 11, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means concerning the committee hearing markup of H.R. 5826, the Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020.  AARP is supportive of enacting safeguards to protect consumers against surprise bills from non-network providers who provide services without the consumer’s knowledge or consent in an otherwise in-network setting, and believes this bill takes steps in the right direction to address the problem of surprise billing. (PDF)

L: On February 11, 2020 AARP sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Tom Reed (R-NY) endorsing H.R. 5821, the Helping Our Senior Population in Comfort Environments (HOSPICE) Act.  This bipartisan legislation will help improve the oversight and enforcement of quality care for Medicare beneficiaries and their families receiving hospice. (PDF)

L: On February 11, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor concerning the committee hearing to markup H.R. 5800, the Ban Surprise Billing Act.  AARP is supportive of enacting safeguards to protect consumers against surprise bills from non-network providers who provide services without the consumer’s knowledge or consent in an otherwise in-network setting, and believes this bill takes steps in the right direction to address the problem of surprise billing. (PDF)

L: On February 4, 2020 AARP sent a letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and to Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx of the House Committee on Education and Labor expressing support for the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020.  This bipartisan amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 4334 would reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA), maintaining critical service and information roles of OAA programs, and promoting greater responsiveness to the needs of older Americans. (PDF)

January

C: On January 29, 2020 AARP sent a letter to the Administration for Community Living in response to a request for public feedback.  AARP took this opportunity to offer information on resources and programs to help grandparents, other relatives, kinship caregivers and the children they care for, all in an effort to assist the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in the development of an initial report to Congress. (PDF)

C: On January 29, 2020 AARP submitted a letter to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in response to a request for public feedback.  The current ACL request for public input is an important opportunity for family caregivers, organizations, and others to provide feedback to assist the Family Caregiving Advisory Council in developing its initial report and to inform the development of the national family caregiving strategy and plan future activities. Over 40 million family caregivers are assisting their loved ones and need commonsense solutions to make their lives a little bit easier. (PDF)