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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

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

Health 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

National Council on Medicaid Home Care Reports on Ways and Means Employer Mandate Hearing

February 5, 2014 04:08 PM

On January 28, 2014, only hours before President Obama was scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the employer mandate included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Michelle Martin, policy director for the National Council on Medicaid Home Care, a NAHC affiliate, attended the hearing.

The hearing was well attended by the members of the Ways and Means Committee and focused on the 30-hour rule included in the ACA. The members heard testimony from five witnesses (written testimony of the witnesses can be found here):

  • Lanhee J. Chen, research fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Peter Anastos, owner, Maine Course Hospitality Group
  • Neil Trautwein, vice president, National Retail Federation
  • Thomas J. Snyder, president, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Helen Levy, research associate professor, Institute for Social Research

Following the testimony of each of the witnesses, all of the committee members in attendance were allowed five minutes for question and answer. The content of the hearing mainly focused on the “Save American Workers Act” (HR 2575), a bill offered by Congressman Todd Young (R-IN) in June of 2013. The bill seeks to redefine “full-time employee” as a person who works 40 hours per week, instead of 30 hours per week as defined in the language of the ACA, for purposes of the employer mandate. A similar bill, “Forty Hours Is Full Time Act of 2013,” was offered by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in June of 2013 and has bipartisan support in the Senate.

During the hearing the Republican members of Congress repeatedly expressed support for redefining “full-time employee,” while the Democrats maintained that moving the threshold from 30 hours to 40 hours would be a greater incentive for employers to cut employees’ hours. For a discussion, please see the testimony of Helen Levy here.

Several of the Democrats concentrated their comments and questions on broader issues such as the best ways to fix the ACA and corporations’ responsibility to employees, which created the feeling that those members may not disagree with the change in definition, but they feel that there are bigger issues to focus on.

On February 4, 2013, the Ways and Means Committee voted to move Congressman Todd Young’s bill forward by a party-line vote of 23-14. No Democrats voted in favor of advancing the bill.

NAHC and the National Council on Medicaid Home Care recognize the relief that home care and hospice providers would experience if the ACA’s definition of “full-time employee” were changed to 40 hours per week in advance of the implementation of the employer mandate.

NAHC applauds the efforts of Congressman Todd Young and Senator Susan Collins to provide relief to hundreds of employers and thousands of employees throughout our nation. We hope that members of Congress will see the need to continue to work together to pass this important legislation and “fix” the parts of the ACA that have proven unworkable.  Until the vote by the Ways and Means Committee, Republicans have staunchly refused any action related to improving the ACA, instead opting strictly for repeal of the full law.  

For more information, please see NAHC Report, February 4, 2014.




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