Aging Today March–April 2020




ter care for older adults living in rural areas; sending a letter to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) expressing con- cerns about the agency’s reorganization; submitting comments to the ACL related to future activities of the Elder Justice Coor- dinating Council; and signing onto 28 let- ters from the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations urging public policy change on behalf of older adults. To helpmembers advocate more easily, the PPC created an advocacy and policy resource page on the ASAwebsite tomake advocating even easier for our members; . ASAMembers and 2020 Presidential Candidates Weigh In This past Fall, the PPC surveyedmembers’ opinions on public policy priorities (see the article on page 11 by Menne et al. about survey outcomes). The top five policy is- sues of the 300 survey respondents re- mained the same from 2017 through 2019: their main concerns were long-term ser- vices and supports (LTSS), Medicare and Medicaid, poverty and economic security, healthy aging/chronic disease manage- ment and caregiver supports and services. One statistic from the survey that stood out was the fact that 64 percent of survey respondents want to build skills around monitoring and-or analyzing leg- islation, which means ASA’s public policy push not only is making members more aware of the need to advocate, but also is instilling in them a desire to become more active advocates. To help ASA members make the most educated choices on behalf of older adults in the upcoming presidential election, the PPC sent out a “Presidential Scorecard” list of questions to all of the major presidential campaign organizations, asking them to weigh in on eight topic areas—LTSS; Medi- care; Medicaid; poverty and economic se- curity; healthy aging chronic disease management; caregiver supports and ser- vices; Social Security and retirement secu- rity; and housing and transportation. Candidates’ responses (compiled in late January 2020) will be shared during the Town Hall session at AiA 2020 in At- lanta. Attendees will have a chance to then grade candidates in real-time via the Conference app. Looking ahead to the remainder of 2020, those same eight topic areas (listed above) will form the PPC’s key priority areas. If you are new to advocacy, or would like to know more about PPC activities, please visit education-forums/policy-and-advocacy. I amverymuch looking forward to see- ing you all at AiA 2020, March 24–27, in Atlanta! If you haven’t yet registered, go to . n WRITE TO US We welcome your responses both to Aging Today articles and to guest commentar- ies, which present the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the American Society on Aging. Letters should be no more than 350 words long. We also welcome ideas for articles you would like to see in future issues of Aging Today .  mail Aging Today, “Letters” 575 Market St., Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA 94105-2869  fax (415) 974-0300  e-mail

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A 2019 advocacy push— the ASA Public Policy Committee going strong

advocacy and the second an overview of the PPC’s priorities. The PPC also devel- oped its committeemission, priorities and guiding principles, going forward.

By Karyne Jones

N ever before has advocacy on be- half of older adults felt more critical than it does in this elec- tion year. ASA’s Public Policy Committee (PPC) has been working espe- cially hard all year to en-

PPC Drives Direct Advocacy in a Challenging Year

In August 2019, ASA and SAGE submit- ted joint comments supporting LGBT- inclusive implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohib- its discrimination on the basis of race, col- or, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities. This provision builds upon long-standing and familiar federal civil rights laws such as Title VI of 1964, Title IX of the Educa- tion Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. Across the year, the PPC created and sent ASA “Advocacy Alerts” on low- income housing tax credits, Older Amer- icans Act reauthorization and erosion of healthcare rights pertinent to the ACA’s Section 1557; these alerts went to 30,000 people in the ASA universe. The PPC also sent out a statement regarding the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Other 2019PPCactions included the fol- lowing: submitting comments to theHouse Ways andMeans Committee related to bet-

agency rate (institutional rate only): $94.00/year.

Karyne Jones

Aging Today is indexed in the Cumula- tive Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and the Areco Quarterly Index to Periodical Literature on Aging. Printed in the U.S.A. © 2018 American Society on Aging. All rights reserved. The American Society on Aging (ASA) is the essential resource to cultivate leadership, advance knowledge and strengthen the skills of those who work with, and on behalf of, older adults.

sure ASAmembers’ voices would be heard on the national stage. That’s why I am dedicating this column—whichwill be my last prior to handing over leadership of the ASA Board of Directors to Michael Adams—to the PPC’s 2019 efforts and its priorities into the future. One of the PPC’s early and public suc- cesses was the inaugural Town Hall ses- sion at the 2019 Aging in America Conference (AiA), with 900 people in at- tendance. During the event, which high- lighted ASA’s public policy agenda, members were polled live on their advo- cacy priorities; these included elder homelessness, elder justice and legislation to foster it, ageism, discrimination and elder advocacy. Following that success, the PPC con- vened two webinars—one a “how-to” on

ASA Board Chair: Karyne Jones

ASA Interim CEO: Cynthia D. Banks

Editor: Alison Hood

Senior Editor: Alison Biggar

Design & Production: Michael Zipkin | Lucid Design


Chair, Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy, PHI, Bronx, New York Immediate Past Chair: Robyn L. Golden, Director of Health and Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois Donna Benton, Director, USC FCSC/ LACRCA, Los Angeles, California Diane Brown, Executive Director, Medicare Strategy & Operations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California Paul Greenwood, Elder Abuse Expert Witness and Teacher/Consultant, San Diego, California Kristi Mellion, Director of Programs, Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Anne Montgomery, Deputy Director, Center for Elder Care & Advanced Illness, Altarum, Washington, D.C. Kathy Sykes, Retired, Senior Advisor for Aging and Environmental Health, U.S. EPA, Washington, D.C. Laura Trejo, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Aging, Los Angeles, California Sandra von Doetinchem , Program Specialist, Outreach College Professional Programs, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

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