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During a meeting with the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), U.S. House of Representatives Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked the LCAO, including current chair Larry Minnix, for their role in helping to pass the Affordable Care Act. She then passionately urged the group to increase their advocacy efforts and to reach out to the members of the soon to be created, “super committee,” a product of the recently passed Budget Control Act Amendment.
Pelosi also stressed the importance of illustrating that younger people also have relied on, and care deeply about, the Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security program. Pelosi stated that she believe costs can trimmed through a responsible and balanced approach that includes revenues as part of the equation, and she also voiced her continued support for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
Rep. John Larson (D-CT), chair of the House Democratic Caucus, also addressed the packed room of national organizations, and emphatically urged the group to group to continue to fight for the preservation of programs that impact older adults. He asked that we help provide stories of beneficiaries of these programs in order to highlight the importance, and effectiveness, of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
As part of LCAO’s efforts to work with all members of Congress, we have also reached out to Speaker John Boehner to address the group. Currently, efforts are underway to meet with House Majority Leader John Boehner’s policy staff, and other Republican staff, to inform them about LCAO’s priorities and efforts that are underway to advocate on behalf of older adults.
The meeting with Pelosi was an important first step in our effort to educate, work with, and help all members of Congress to understand that solely cutting programs on which our residents and clients rely is the not the answer.
As Larry Minnix always says, “Helping people is the solution, not the problem.”