AAHSA asks House committee for more home care funding for 2006

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The head of a major long-term care advocacy group Tuesday asked Congress for more money for home- and community-based services for fiscal year 2006.

Specifically, Larry Minnix, CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aged, recommended a 10% increase in funding for Older American Act programs. The OAA provides planning and funding for home and community-based services for older adults, including senior centers and in-home services.

Minnix was one of 15 "public witnesses" testifying before the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee. He also recommended an increase in funding for the Social Services Block Grant/Title XX funds to its authorized level of $2.8 billion. These funds provide the largest source of funds for legal and protective services for the elderly.

Another recommendation: Funding the Nurse Reinvestment Act at least at fiscal year 2005 levels, with a preferable increase of funding. Extra funding for programs would be included in the fiscal year 2006 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services.

AAHSA board member David Gehm also testified Tuesday before the House Ways and Means Committee on Health on the need for expanded home and community services.