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Older Americans willl be better able to save and plan for their retirement and have more options for getting Medicare services at home under a sweeping 2023 spending bill President Joe Biden signed into law on Dec. 29.
The bipartisan measure, which lawmakers had raced to pass ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline to avert a federal government shutdown, provides a road map for spending through September 2023. The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 23 by a vote of 225-201 with one member voting "present." The measure had passed the U. S. Senate on Dec. 22 by a 68 to 29 vote.
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“Older Americans, like Americans of all ages, want elected officials to work together to ensure their health and financial security,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, says in a statement.
“AARP is pleased that the bipartisan government funding bill addresses important priorities for Americans age 50-plus, including increasing Social Security Administration funding, making it easier to save for retirement and extending critical Medicare benefits.”
Here’s a look at some elements of the law that address the financial and health needs of older adults:
The spending law includes $14.1 billion for the Social Security Administration (SSA), an increase of $785 million, or 6 percent, from the previous fiscal year.
AARP had called on Congress to fully fund the administration’s $14.8 billion budget request, which the SSA says it needs to begin reversing a crisis in customer service that older Americans and people with disabilities are feeling after years of funding cuts and staff losses at the agency.