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Congress protects and invests in seniors in final Fiscal Year 2016 funding deal

From the National Council on Aging (NCOA)

Advocacy by hundreds of NCOA supporters has paid off. Congress crafted a final FY16 funding package that rejects proposed cuts and even provides some increases for programs and services for older adults. Find your Wisconsin legislators and let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Here are the cuts that were rejected thanks to your advocacy:
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) level-funded at $52.1 million (instead of $22.1 million cut)
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) level-funded at $434.4 million (instead of $30 million cut)
Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) level-funded at $8 million (instead of $400,000 cut)
Falls Prevention level-funded at $5 million (instead of $250,000 cut)
Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) level-funded at $6.1 million, but still has to make up for loss of over $9 million two years ago (instead of $360,000 cut)
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) level-funded at $3.4 billion (instead $25 million cut)
The package also provides for some increases, including:
Congregate Nutrition funded at $448.3 million (increase of $10.2 million)
Home Delivered Nutrition funded at $226.3 million (increase of $9.9 million)
National Family Caregiver Support Program funded at $150.6 million (increase of $5 million)
Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services funded at $31.2 million (increase of $5 million)
Native American Caregiver Support funded at $7.5 million (increase of $1.5 million)
Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services funded at $8 million (increase of $4 million)
Lifespan Respite Care funded at $3.4 million (increase of $1 million)
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funded at $715 million (increase of $41 million)
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) funded at $222.2 million (increase of $10.7 million)
Section 202 Housing for the Elderly funded at $432.7 million (increase of $12.7 million)

The budget caps mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act were the impetus behind many of the cuts proposed this year, particularly in aging services. Enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act in November raised the caps for FY16 and FY17, so next year the pressure will be off, but there will not be much room to make long overdue investments. In 2018, the caps, cuts, and threat of sequester return unless policymakers finally craft a long-term budget deal. 
(Read the NCOA statement on the final deal and see the NCOA FY16 funding table.)
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