In an important step for senior citizens the Senate has passed the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015. The bipartisan bill now awaits the President's signature.
Originally passed in 1965, the Older Americans Act provided key funding for important programs for the elderly. It including funding for healthcare programs, elder abuse prevention programs, programs to coordinate care between different levels of government, and more.
This important piece of legislation has needed reauthorization since 2011.
The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan group of Senators. An amended version passed the House of Representatives.
The American Geriatrics Society reports that the Senate has now passed the House-amended legislation in the press release "Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 passes US Senate."
The legislation reauthorizes the Older Americans Act through 2018.
Hopefully, gaining reauthorization will not take as long then. It is also important to note that passing this legislation is not all that needs to be done to address the legal and medical needs of the elderly. The law is important, but seniors still need more protection from elder abuse and still need to have new challenges to their healthcare needs addressed.
Since the normally contentious legislature was able to pass this bill with bipartisan support, it is possible that other elder law issues will be able to get the same support from both sides of the political divide.