Senior advocacy groups express sadness over Frank's retirement

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Capitol Hill is losing a champion of affordable housing for low-income seniors with the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), says one nursing home group.

Officials from LeadingAge, which represents non-profit nursing homes, expressed its disappointment Monday after Frank announced that he will retire at the end of his current term. He has been a member of Congress since 1981.

In his role as the former Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank played a key role in securing passage of the Section 202 Reform Act of 2010, which included a number of provisions to increase services resources and preservation tools for supportive senior housing, according to LeadingAge.

“He's been one of the biggest champions on senior housing,” Barbara Gay, director of advocacy information at LeadingAge, told McKnight's. “He has also been active in making sure budget priorities are balanced and not skewed against Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. We really are going to miss him.”

Frank has been active in other senior-care issues, such as Medicare reimbursement for therapy and investigating the role of private equity firms in nursing home ownership.

Frank also took a hard line with the Congressional “super committee” and with the Obama administration over reducing the federal deficit and preserving programs for seniors, Gay adds, noting that Frank advocated for a balanced approach in reducing the deficit.

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