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Coalition Continues Fight for Long-Term Services and Supports in Health Care Reform
Date:6/4/2009

WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and 70 aging and disability organizations joined again to ensure long-term services and supports (LTSS) are part of health care reform legislation.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090604/DC27692)

The groups hosted a Congressional call-in day and published a full-page ad that appears in today's Roll Call. Participating organizations include Alzheimer's Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, SEIU, National Council on Aging, The Arc of the United States, and numerous consumer, service provider and labor groups.

The coalition's work is making a difference. Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) recently included language on long-term services and supports in a briefing paper about health care reform. It is anticipated that the paper will serve as a foundation for the committee's bill.

"The HELP committee's recognition of LTSS is an obvious success, but our work is not over yet," AAHSA CEO Larry Minnix said. "We must ensure that vulnerable adults of all ages with disabilities can afford and access the services they need in the setting of their choice."

Right now, 10 million Americans need long-term services and supports every day. Forty percent are under 65. More than 44 million people provide this care to their loved ones. The costs of this care not only affect people, but businesses, government programs, the medical profession and the economy as a whole. It is simply unaffordable to care.

"There is an artificial line between acute care and long-term service and supports," Minnix said. "Health care reform without long-term services and supports will fail to solve this crisis."

About AAHSA

The members of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (www.aahsa.org) help millions of individuals and their families every day through mission-driven, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing the services that people need, when they need them, in the place they call home. Our 5,700 member organizations, many of which have served their communities for generations, offer the continuum of aging services: adult day services, home health, community services, senior housing, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes. AAHSA's commitment is to create the future of aging services through quality people can trust.


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SOURCE American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
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