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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Heath care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

President Obama Signs Legislation to Reopen the Government and Raise the Debt Limit

Bill Includes Provision for Negotiations on a Broader Budget Framework, which should be Underway during NAHC’s Annual Meeting in Washington
October 17, 2013 12:48 PM

Late Wednesday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reached a deal that would reopen the Federal Government and lift the debt ceiling, thereby avoiding the United States defaulting on its financial obligations for the first time in history. The Senate passed the legislation 81-18 followed by House passage by a vote of 285 – 144.  

President Obama signed the measure into law after the bill’s passage, stating that, “We’ll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.”

The agreement reached by Senators Reid and McConnell reopens the government and ensures that it remains open through January 15, lifts the debt ceiling through February 7, and requires a bicameral budget conference committee by December 13. While the agreement achieves the goals of reopening the government – which was in its third week of a partial shutdown – and prevents the government to default, it also sets up another round of contentious budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, which will coincide with home care and hospice advocates coming to Washington, DC to attend NAHC’s Annual Meeting. 

Under the Senate deal, a conference will be created to negotiate a fiscal 2014 budget agreement, with directions to report a deal by December 13 to give Congress time to adopt a concurrent budget resolution setting out binding totals for broad categories of spending and revenues before the stopgap spending plan expires in mid-January.

Senator McConnell has indicated that Republicans will fight to maintain the sequestration spending cuts that are currently in effect. Unless the conferees can negotiate a broader budget package, the government is poised to again shutdown on January 15, and will once again risk default on February 7.

For the home care and hospice community, the deal means that there is no risk of Medicare or Medicaid payments being halted to providers and government agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will fully reopen.

While the deal helps to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid continue to run unabated, there is potential for certain provisions that NAHC opposes – such as additional cuts to Medicare including home health and hospice payment cuts and copays  - to be back on the table during the December budget negotiations. Congress will also be struggling to find offsets for fixing the flawed Medicare physician payment formula before physician payment cuts kick in on January 1 of next year. Please see NAHC Report from May 2, 2013 for more information.

Given the timing of the budget negotiations, NAHC strongly urges all of its members to attend NAHC’s Annual Meeting and participate in their Lobbying Day advocacy efforts to fight to preserve access to home care and hospice services.

To register to attend NAHC’s Annual Meeting, please click here.




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