Public Policy Updates and Archive


Public policy updates on issues that concern N-AGE and NAGEC members authored by Brian W. Lindberg Executive Director, Consumer Coalition for Quality Health care. Prior to his current position, Mr. Lindberg worked in Congress for 10 years – most recently as the staff director of the House Select Committee on Aging’s Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests, and prior to that on the Senate Special Committee on Aging. E-mail Brian Lindberg at brian@consumers.org

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Announcement and Action Alert Archive


                                                                                                                                July 20, 2017

Washington Posts –  The Latest:

Appropriations:

Better funding news in the U.S. Senate.  On July 20, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved 16-15 the allocations for the 12 spending bills under the committee’s jurisdiction.  The Labor, HHS, Education bill allocation is $164.06 billion, a $3.04 billion increase from fiscal 2017 enacted levels.  This is good news, particularly since the bill that passed yesterday in the House Appropriations Committee had an allocation for Labor, HHS, Education that was more than $5 billion less than for FY 2017.  NAGE will be keep working for a higher GWEP funding level in the Senate.

More on yesterday’s Roybal-Allard Amendment for Health Care Professionals Education from HPNEC.  The amendment was not approved. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s amendment would have made the following changes to the Labor, HHS, Education bill:

  • Increase overall workforce funding by $90.5 million
  • Increase Centers of Excellence funding by $12 million (Total of $21.7 million, FY 17 level)
  • Reinstate the Health Careers Opportunity Program by granting it $14.2 million (FY 17 level)
  • Increase Geriatric Programs funding by $ 4 million (Total of $38.7 million, FY 17 level)
  • Increase Mental and Behavioral Health by $25 million (Total of $ 50 million, FY 17 level)
  • Reinstate the Public Health and Preventative Medicine programs by granting them $17 million (FY 17 level)
  • Increase the Nursing Workforce Development allocation by $18.3 million ((Total $229.5 million, FY 17 level for all Title VIII funding)
  • Requires HRSA to utilize $15.3 million to create a more diverse nursing workforce by increasing nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard has posted a video of her remarks regarding her Title VII/Title VIII amendment on twitter. 

Brian W. Lindberg
NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

202-789-3606


                                                                                                                                 July 18, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

The House LHHS Appropriations bill was released this morning with its report and details and will be put before the full committee for consideration tomorrow.  The “Geriatric Programs” (GWEP) were funded at $34.737 million for FY 2018.  This is a $4 million cut.  The president’s budget eliminated the program.  It appears on page 21 of the report.  The link is below.

I am in ongoing discussions with Hill staff and our partners to see how we will proceed.  We would need an amendment to put the funds back into the program to be offered during the bill’s consideration.  That would put members on record but we don’t know if the amendment would pass at this point.  The Senate has not begun to mark-up their bill and it is possible that they will provide a higher funding level.

 We will be back to you ASAP.

 Thanks, Brian

The bill and summary  are available on the Labor-HHS website –
Appropriation Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor, Heath and Human Services Education Funding Bill

Brian W. Lindberg
NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

202-789-3606


                                                                                                                                   July 5, 2017

Lance Allen Robertson of Oklahoma to be Assistant Secretary for Aging, Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Robertson served as Oklahoma’s Director of Aging Services for the past decade, overseeing a range of programs that included the Older Americans Act and a large 1915c Medicaid waiver. He was an administrator at Oklahoma State University for twelve years, where he co-founded the Gerontology Institute and directed a regional professional association, PartnerShips for Aging. He is a past president of the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and has served on numerous boards and commissions. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Mr. Robertson has a B.S. from Oklahoma State University and Masters in Public Administration with Honors from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Brian W. Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
202-789-3606          


House Approves CR With Shutdown Hours Away. The House on Friday approved a continuing resolution (H J Res 99) that would extend government funding beyond a midnight Friday deadline. The tally was 220-15 as voting continued. The CR is needed to avert a partial government shutdown and is intended to give lawmakers time to wrap up negotiations on a fiscal 2017 spending package. Democrats had said they would oppose the CR unless a deal was at hand but Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland said Friday he would back the spending stopgap.

Hoyer also said that the fiscal 2017 spending package is scheduled to be introduced in the House on Monday night with a floor vote on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York signaled Senate Democrats could support a one-week CR since appropriators made progress on riders last night. But he said talks are ongoing and there are still problematic riders. The Senate is expected to vote later Friday.


Dear Colleagues:

So, no government shutdown tomorrow and it looks like they have a deal for the rest of the FY 2017 appropriations to be voted on next week.  Of course, NAGE is already focused on FY 2018 and the President’s attacks on our funding.

Thank you, Brian

Brian W. Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006

202-789-3606


This is a recording of the first meeting of the NAGE Advocacy Mentoring  Network which took place on April 28 at 4:00 pm (Eastern). Sponsored by the National Association of Geriatric Education (NAGE), the Advocacy Mentoring Network will be a series of online discussions geared toward supporting your crucial advocacy efforts to save GWEP funding. Each network meeting will feature the opportunity to share your successes and challenges with a team of experienced policy mentors. There will also be important information presented by Brian Lindberg, NAGE Public Policy Advisor.

 
 

IMPORTANT FEDERAL BUDGET UPDATE

Dear NAGE Members

As you know, Congress had not funded the federal government through the end of FY 2017.  Last week they passed a compromise bill to fund the government for another week while they worked out the final details. Over the weekend, the Republicans and the Democrats reached an agreement that will provide funding through September 30, 2017.  The House is likely to vote on the bill on Wednesday with the Senate to follow shortly thereafter, leading the President’s signature.

At this point, the budget allocation for Geriatrics within HRSA, which funds the GWEPS, remains flat from FY2016 and GWEPs would be funded at $38,737,000. Attached is a table with proposed funding levels for Titles VII & VIII Health Professions Programs.

More to come and let’s continue our fight for an increase for FY 2018!

NAGE will continue to increase our support for your advocacy efforts for GWEP funding. Information about future meetings of the NAGE Advocacy Mentoring Network will be out soon.

Sincerely, 

The Board of Directors+
National Association for Geriatric Education

FY 17 Labor-H Titles VII and VIII Funding Chart


                                                                                                                              March 31, 2017

Special Federal Government Budget Update by Brian Lindberg
Please watch for information on what is going on with GWEP funding.

Published 3.31.2017


Dear NAGE members:

 We have just learned of the appointment of George Sigounas, MS, PhD as the new Administrator for HRSA. (See below)  

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. George Sigounas, MS, PhD has joined us today as the new Administrator for HRSA.  Dr. Sigounas was a Professor of Medicine at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.  His involvement in the establishment and operation of a Bone Marrow Transplantation program, clinical trials, and patient committees have provided Dr. Sigounas with extensive understanding of the various aspects involved in patient treatment, including treatment processes, and financial issues. 

‎On behalf of the entire HRSA team, I want to thank Jim Macrae for being our Acting HRSA Administrator.  Jim brought his enthusiasm to the job every day.  We’re all better because of his focus on using data to drive organizational change and Jim has remained focused on the people we serve which will be critical as he returns to lead the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

‎Please join me in welcoming Dr. Sigounas to HRSA and thanking Jim Macrae for his continued service.

Diana Espinosa
Deputy Administrator


Recent advocacy efforts have resulted in 98 House Members and 29 Senators signing letters urging appropriators to  provide $280 million for Title VII programs in the FY 2017 Labor-H appropriations bill.

FY 2017 House Title VIII Nursing Workforce Letter
FY 2017 Senate Title VIII Nursing Workforce Letter