With practically everyone working overtime to cover COVID-19, you may have missed an important milestone last week. President Trump signed the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization into law on March 25 after the U.S. Senate earlier in the month unanimously passed the bipartisan legislation co-authored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Aging Committee. (It passed in the House on March 11.) Continue reading
The Older Americans Act (OAA) expires on Sept. 30, 2019, and there’s still no bill ready for either a House or Senate vote. Traditionally, this legislation receives wide bipartisan support, but legislators are still attempting to work out some differences between what the Trump administration wants and provisions Democrats and advocacy groups would like to add.
The Senate is at an impasse regarding funding authorization levels and the funding formula, including “hold harmless” provisions. The House Education and Labor Committee announced on Friday that their OAA bill will be introduced on Monday and the committee will mark it up and likely pass it on Wednesday. Continue reading
The Trump administration earlier this month slashed funding for ACA navigators – a form of enrollment assistance – for the second consecutive year. For the 2019 enrollment year beginning November 1, the government will provide $10 million, down from $36 million last fall – which was down from $63 million the prior year.
In addition, they changed the rules of the game. In addition to guiding people through ACA market options, the navigators also will help people enroll in the new insurance plans authorized by the Trump administration that do not comply with patient and consumer protections in the ACA – and may well serve to undermine the ACA by drawing younger and healthier people. Continue reading
The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a three-year grant renewal of $450,000 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to continue offering training and resources for journalists covering health issues.
The grant coincides with the 20th anniversary of the AHCJ, which recently conducted Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix, Ariz. The foundation was an endowing sponsor for that event.
The new funding will continue to support the association’s annual conference, regional workshops on niche health topics, an annual rural health journalism workshop and the expansion of health data resources on AHCJ’s website.
This year’s severe flu season has increased the spotlight on the development of a “universal” influenza vaccine – a vaccine that would be effective against most strains of the flu.
But that vaccine has been elusive.
In 2011, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told USA Today that he was “guardedly optimistic” a universal flu vaccine would be within reach in five years after scientists identified pieces of the virus that consistently appeared in seasonal and pandemic flu viruses. Continue reading
AHCJ has strengthened its ethical standards on funding for the annual conference, enhancing the ethics code established at our inception 20 years ago to guard against undue influence by outside groups or the perception of such influence.