NCOA: Senate GOP COVID-19 Relief Proposal Fails Older Americans

Urgent Need for Food, Home Care, Employment, and Digital Health Supports are Ignored

Policy solutions would make access to benefits easier for low-income individuals

Arlington, VA (July 28, 2020) – The National Council on Aging (NCOA), a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well, released a statement regarding the Republican Senate COVID-19 proposal put forth this week:

“NCOA is deeply disappointed by the Senate Republican’s most recent attempt to address the grave and ever-growing COVID-19 pandemic affecting our country because it fails to support and protect older Americans,” said NCOA Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy Howard Bedlin. “Older adults are among the most vulnerable Americans in this pandemic because they are facing not just potentially deadly health complications but also catastrophic financial insecurity.”

NCOA urges Senators to include the following important priorities in the bill:

  • Increased federal assistance is needed to improve access to home care services so that frail seniors can get help to remain with their families and out of nursing homes and other institutions, and states can to meet increasing Medicaid demands arising from high unemployment rates.
  • Low-income older workers are facing unique employment barriers and additional investments in job training and placement are urgently needed.
  • The vast majority of older adults have one or more chronic conditions that put them at particular risk, and resources must be increased to support access to digital health promotion and disease prevention programs that help manage existing chronic illness, prevent the occurrence of new conditions, and mitigate social isolation and loneliness.
  • Access to food continues to be a serious problem for millions of older adults and more must be done to keep them from going hungry.  

Many of these concerns are addressed in the House Heroes Act. “NCOA, on behalf of millions of older adults, urges Senators to reflect upon the unique challenges this population is facing during this pandemic, and take steps to better respond to the serious threats impacting our nation’s aging population,” added Bedlin.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at and @NCOAging.

Contact: Armando Trull, Media Relations Manager

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