Amid healthcare reform frenzy, AAHSA continues push for long-term care reform

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is the chairman of the Labor, Health, and Education subcommittee
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is the chairman of the Labor, Health, and Education subcommittee
Despite concerns that pending healthcare reform legislation will exclude a long-term care piece, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging is keeping the pressure on lawmakers to consider providers' needs.

A congressional briefing on long-term services and supports in healthcare reform was held Monday. Barbara Manard, vice president of long-term care/health strategies for AAHSA, appeared. She joined Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and 10-time Olympic medalist and long-term care advocate Dara Torres in extolling the importance of long-term services and supports to lawmakers.

Also, last Thursday, AAHSA held the latest in a string of Congressional Call-in days, an event that entailed AAHSA members and members of the public calling their congressional representatives and demand the inclusion of long-term services and supports in reform legislation. According to AAHSA, members made more calls than during either of the previous call-in days, though they did not immediately furnish a number. Those earlier events were held March 3 and May 13, and yielded roughly 5,000 and 7,000 calls respectively.

The American Health Care Association, during its annual lobbying effort last week, placed more legislative emphasis on issues such as potential Medicare cuts, rather than long-term care reform. The move toward healthcare reform is moving too quickly in Congress to address long-term care at this point, AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood said.  
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