UPDATE, 22 SEPTEMBER: Good news, but your help is still urgently needed! U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a list of proposed amendments that he was immediately accepting for addition to the health care legislation. This document - called the "Chairman's Mark" - includes the original health reform legislation plus the automatically adopted amendments. This will likely the base text that the Committee members will debate. The good news: the Elder Justice Act (EJA) was included in the Chairman's Mark. What does this mean for the EJA? It means that if the Finance Committee approves its version of health reform legislation later this week or next, the Senate will have once again approved the EJA. But we still need the U.S. House of Representatives for the EJA to become law. It also means that your voice is crucial for securing House support for the EJA - please act now.
In June, we told you about our new partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) on a campaign to protect Older Americans from abuse, exploitation and neglect. The campaign has been gaining momentum and many of you have already shared your stories and sent video messages urging Congress to prioritize this issue. This week, there is a critical opportunity to advance the Elder Justice Act — the federal law that will finally bring a coordinated approach to ending elder abuse in this country.
You can help.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee is now considering the Elder Justice Act as an amendment to its health reform bill. This amendment would represent the most significant federal commitment to date to combat elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It provides an unprecedented and dedicated funding stream for Adult Protective Services (APS), which operate in all states and are the frontline workers helping elder abuse victims.
It is critical the Elder Justice Act pass now because elder abuse is a growing national epidemic. There is elder abuse occurring in every zip code in the United States affecting our health care system, our economy and our social fabric.
Watch and hear the stories of some our America’s abused and neglected elders from older adults themselves, their families and those who serve them in local communities across the country. We hope that once you have seen their stories you will take up this charge along with us.
1) Sign a petition calling on the U.S. Congress to Pass the Elder Justice Act Now
2) Write to your Senator today to request support for the EJA - it’s critical to act now because the committee is marking up its health reform bill this week.
3) Make your message more powerful and put a human face on elder abuse by including a link to one of these videos and amplifying the voices victimized older adults.
Thanks for your support!