LeadingAge Statement on Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations Funding Bill

PRESS RELEASE | August 04, 2022

“It’s critical that Congress acknowledge the need to invest in direct care professionals and the entire aging services workforce, given the severe staffing crisis in the sector.”

Contact: Colleen Knudsen

cknudsen@leadingage.org 202-508-1215

August 4, 2022 Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services leading a nationwide advocacy campaign Aging Services Workforce Now urging Congress and the Administration to take immediate action on critical policy asks, on the Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) Appropriations funding bill:  

“We are thrilled the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill funds a number of aging services programs that prioritize and support underserved older adults across the country. This is a positive step toward ensuring that all older Americans can access the care and services they need.

It’s critical that Congress acknowledge the need to invest in direct care professionals and the entire aging services workforce, given the severe staffing crisis in the sector. This bill demonstrates that recognition by the Senate—but the needs are vast and we hope legislators can do even more. 

While we are pleased to see $3.2 billion allocated for nursing workforce development programs—an increase of $38 million—the planned $47.2 million for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program is comparatively far too low to ensure there the country has the skilled aging services workforce and well-supported family caregivers needed to meet the complex needs of older adults.”

Furthermore, we encourage Congress to support the LeadingAge Workforce Campaign priorities in the FY 2023 Labor-HHS Appropriations package, that would:

  • Build up our workforce through funding for the National Health Care Workforce Commission authorized by the Affordable Care Act.
  • Bolster wages for dedicated aging services professional caregivers through $1.6 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support staffing wage subsidies that deliver tuition assistance, childcare, and transportation assistance.
  • Support a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services study of on-site nursing staff coverage with $50 million, as specified in the Nursing Home Workforce Training Grants.
  • Increase our pipeline of prospective workers by funding the Department of HHS and Education to jointly develop and implement an aging services training program for high school students.
  • Reauthorize and expand grants that train low-income workers for high-demand jobs by supporting the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program with $40 million.
  • Direct the Biden Administration to establish an Interagency Aging Services Workforce Taskforce and report on activities to Congress.
About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.