Bill sets up office to help seniors navigate government programs

A bill to establish an interagency office to help elder Americans navigate the plethora of government programs in various agencies was adopted Thursday by the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Sponsored by Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., and sent to the floor by voice vote, the bill (S. 705) would set up the Interagency Council on Meeting the Housing and Service Needs of Seniors. It would be headed by the Secretaries of the Housing and Urban Development and the Health and Human Services departments, with representatives from the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Treasury, Labor and Veterans Affairs; the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging.

The council would be directed to review all federal programs and services that serve elder citizens in their housing needs and to identify gaps in services, to eliminate or reduce duplications and to improve the availability of housing and other services.

"We need to be doing much more to prepare for the needs of our growing elderly population, which will number 50 million by 2020," Sarbanes said. He said means must be developed to help seniors "gracefully age in place" to minimize the need for assisted living facilities. And, he added, families will increasingly need help not only in finding affordable housing for seniors but in piecing together health care, transportation, physical assistance and other services.

The bill drew bipartisan support and sponsorship from Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Tom Carper, D-Del., Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., all members of the committee.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.