Lobby Day, held April 19 in conjunction with the LeadingAge Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, featured robust member participation, as 225 LeadingAge members—representing 32 states and the District of Columbia—visited Capitol Hill for in-person meetings with policymakers and their staff as part of the annual Lobby Day event. All told, over 60 meetings with held with Senate offices and more than 90 with House member offices.
Members shared their stories of struggling to serve a growing cohort of older adults while working in a dysfunctional aging-services system, and urged policymakers to prioritize action on key legislation. Examples included:
- The overwhelming workforce crisis that results in dire shortages of staff just as increasing numbers of older adults are in need of services. The ask: Support the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act, expected to be reintroduced this year.
- Stories of barriers to accessing quality aging services, for both clients and family members.
- Stories of lengthy waiting lists for affordable housing and other services. The ask: Ensure FY24 HUD appropriations bills provide funding needed by affordable senior housing providers.
- Stories of outdated and unnecessary policies that interfere with serving the needs of older adults. The ask: Eliminate the 3-day hospital stay requirement for skilled nursing care.
- Insufficient Medicaid reimbursement that does not adequately cover the cost of care. The ask: Pass the Better Care Better Jobs Act to enhance Medicaid HCBS funding, including incentives to increase payment for direct care workforce.
- Unrealistic staffing ratios in nursing homes with reduced reimbursement if unmet, and much more.
Read “LeadingAge Members Flood Capitol Hill on Lobby Day” for an account of member experiences on the Hill, and LinkedIn posts from members describing their own participation in #LeadingAge23 Lobby Day.