Troubling Signs Emerge That "CARES 2" Legislation Treats Older Lives as Expendable

PRESS RELEASE | July 24, 2020 | by Susan Donley

“Inadequate testing, PPE and resources would be unilateral disarmament against the virus”

Contact: Susan Donley
sdonley@leadingage.org, 202-508-1209

July 24, 2020 Washington DC – Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes.

Troubling signs are emerging that Congress and the Administration may ignore the needs of millions of vulnerable older Americans - even as the pandemic breaks new records.

  • When word emerged last week that the Administration was trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing, we were immediately concerned.
  • In negotiations this week, senators were reported to have discussed a $9 billion cut in funding to the $25 passed by the House to support testing. What kind of message is that to older adults who are so vulnerable to COVID-19 and their families? Every Member of Congress needs to stand up and reject the idea of unilaterally disarming our testing capacity when it is needed more than ever.
  • As further details leak out about the negotiations, the accounts have one thing in common: they show no sign that the needs of older adults are being prioritized.

We can’t make the same mistake againmillions of older lives are at stake. After six months of patchwork plans, we can’t once again fail to prioritize the urgent needs of older adults who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We know what it takes. If Congress wants to head off more catastrophe, the new legislation needs to put older adults and their care providers at the front of the line, right alongside hospitals, for life-saving resources like personal protective equipment and testing. It must include funding and support for aging services providers that ensure the health and safety of older adults.

That’s why LeadingAge has joined 49 organizations from across the health care community calling on Congress to prioritize robust federal funding for the testing.

About LeadinAge

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org