Everyone deserves ‘to age well’

On the July anniversaries of the Medicare and Medicaid Act of 1965 and Older Americans Act of 1965, the National Council on Aging called on national leaders to make aging well a higher priority for all Americans.

The council (NCOA), an advocacy organization older adults, issued the following statement from its president, Ramsey Alwin:

“This month, we celebrate the passage of three historic federal programs that make it possible for millions of older adults to live with health, security, and independence. Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act provide vital health, nutrition, and community services that empower people to live with dignity in their own communities.

“NCOA was proud to play a key role in enacting these programs—and we’ve been working every day since to make them even better. Much has changed in America since 1965, and we know our work is far from over. During the pandemic, we saw first-hand how our systems are woefully outdated and leave far too many Americans behind.

“We call on Congress to step up and do more for older adults and the dedicated professionals who serve them every day. We urge Congress to make it easier for low-income older adults to afford health care by eliminating restrictive barriers to accessing Medicare Savings Programs, investing in Medicaid, increasing funding for Medicaid home- and community-based services so that people can age in their own homes, and bolstering funding for vital Older Americans Act programs like senior centers, evidence-based healthy aging programs, and job training and placement services.

“It’s time for Congress to ensure that every American has the resources to age well—regardless of their gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Older Americans deserve nothing less.”