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May 22, 2013

The Top 5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About the Older Americans Act (OAA)

This is a guest post by Aaron Tax, SAGE’s Director of Federal Government Relations.

May is Older Americans Month, a time to honor elders’ contributions to our communities. The official site encourages all of us to show our support for Older Americans Month by unleashing the power of age in our community. For the month of May, we will feature a story every Wednesday relevant to LGBT older Americans.

Senator Sanders Kick-starts OAA Reauthorization: Tomorrow, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) will introduce a bill to reauthorize the the Older Americans Act (OAA).  Senator Sanders is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, which has jurisdiction over the reauthorization of the OAA. The bill will be introduced at 11am at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The introduction will be a part of the Older Americans Summit that Senator Sanders and his colleagues are putting together to celebrate Older Americans Month and the bill introduction.

Learn more about the OAA and its implications for LGBT elders by clicking here.

The Top 5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About the Older Americans Act (OAA)

As you’re undoubtedly aware, May is International Internal Audit Awareness MonthNational Hamburger Month, and apparently, for a little balance, National Salad Month (brought to you by the Association for Dressing and Sauces – really, they exist).  It’s also National Vinegar Month, and everyone’s favorite, Get Caught Reading Month (watch out – don’t get caught!).  

But more important than all of those, of course, is that May is Older Americans Month

We here at SAGE are marking that occasion by listing the top 5 interesting things you didn’t know about the Older Americans Act (OAA).

  1. Congress passed the OAA in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
  2. The OAA is the nation’s largest vehicle for the organization and delivery of services and nutrition programs for older adults and their caregivers.
  3. The OAA actually saves the government money!
  4. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the first LGBT-inclusive OAA reauthorization bill with his LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2012.  He remains committed to championing LGBT aging issues in the reauthorization process.
  5. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, will soon be introducing a Democratic OAA reauthorization bill with the hopes of reigniting negotiations on this most important piece of legislation, which expired in 2011.

SAGE and our allies continue to work closely with the Sen. Bennet and Sen. Sanders to ensure that the OAA will acknowledge and address the unique barriers to successful aging faced by LGBT older adults.  Read more about the OAA at SAGE’s OAA issues page, or download our policy brief LGBT Older Adults and Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.



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