Lois Frankel, Gus Bilirakis Team Up On Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults Act

Last week, two members of the Florida delegation–Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel and Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis–teamed up on a proposal to “create a program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve the health and well-being of older adults and provide grants to state and local health departments to implement age-friendly public health programs.”

Frankel introduced the “Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults Act” with Bilirakis and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., as co-sponsors.

“The CDC program created by this legislation will provide grants and technical assistance to state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments for: improving the coordination of public health interventions that improve the health and well-being of older adults; disseminating and implementing evidence-based best practices and programs with respect to promoting the health and well-being of older adults; coordinating multisectoral efforts to improve the health and well-being of older adults across governmental and nongovernmental health agencies; improving coordination of interventions to identify gaps and reduce duplication of efforts at federal, local, and state agencies and with other aging services organizations,” Frankel’s office noted.

“As people age, they face unique health challenges including dementia, food insecurity, balance, and isolation,” said Frankel. “This bipartisan legislation will provide the CDC and state and local health departments with resources to address these, and other critical health issues older Americans confront every day.”

“We owe it to our seniors to ensure they have access to the best possible health care,” said Bilirakis. “As the population continues to age, it only makes sense that public health officials are working closely with senior advocacy organizations to identify and address unmet needs.”

“The number of Americans ages 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years. We have the power to prepare for this through strategic legislation that supports critical resources for older Americans,” said Dingell. “I’m proud to work with my colleague Rep. Lois Frankel to introduce the Protecting the Health of America’s Older Adults Act to create a Healthy Aging program at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. From lowering health care costs to improving health equity, this program will be a lifeline to the American people as they age.”

The Florida Public Health Association, Trust for America’s Health, Alliance for Aging Research, Society for Women’s Health Research, American Association on Health and Disability, American Public Health Association, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Society for Public Health Education, Coalition of National Health Education Organizations, Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), National Network of Public Health Institutes, Society for Public Health Education, Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to the Youth, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, Gerontological Partnership of America, Common Threads, Urban Health Partnerships, We All Rise and other groups are all backing the proposal.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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