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Testimonials

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. 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 element...it’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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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National Council of Aging

NAHC’s Efforts to Postpone the Employer Mandate Results in More Progress

February 12, 2014 03:09 PM

The Obama administration recently issued an IRS Final Rule that further delays parts of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide health insurance for their workers. Employers that have fewer than 100 full-time workers will have one extra year - until 2016 - before the employer mandate takes effect. Companies that have fewer than 50 workers are already exempt from the requirement to cover their employees.

In response to the most recent delay to the Employer Mandate, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris commended the Obama Administration for "listening to the pleas of the American public - including the home care and hospice community - who very much want to see all American’s with access to health care."

Under the rule, employers of more than 100 full-time employees will need to cover 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent in 2016 or later or face a penalty. Obama administration officials said the change was a response to complaints about the law’s definition of a full-time worker as one who works 30 hours per week, rather than the conventional definition of a 40-hour work week.

NAHC has long endorsed changing the definition of “full-time worker” from 30 hours a week to 40 hours. Legislation to change that definition is pending in both the House and Senate.

For more on NAHC’s position on the full-time definition, please see NAHC Report, October 16, 2013.

NAHC's leadership led efforts to educate lawmakers on the consequences that the Employer Mandate would have on access to home health and hospice services, which helped to lead to an earlier decision in July to delay enforcement of the Employer Mandate and influenced the additional delay set out in this latest rule.

For more on NAHC’s position on the previous delay to the Employer Mandate, please see NAHC ReportJuly 3, 2013

Analysis by NAHC staff found that the following changes will apply under the new ruling:

  • Employers with 50-99 full time employees (including FTEs) in 2014 will not be subject to the health insurance obligations or the penalty for failing to offer qualified health insurance in 2015. The penalty will start in 2016.
  • Employers with 100 or more full-time employees (including FTEs) in 2014 will need to offer 70% of full-time employees a qualified health insurance or face a penalty. The original requirement was set at 95% of the full-time employees. The offer must extend to 95% beginning in 2016.
  • Employers with 100 or more full time employees (including FTEs) in 2014 are subject to the mandate in 2015. However, the 2015 penalty calculation is based on accepting the first 80 full-time employees instead of the statutory 30 full-time employee exception. The exception will drop to 30 in 2016 unless there is a further change in the law.

In addition to allowing companies with 50 to 100 workers another year to start providing coverage or face a penalty, the administration is allowing companies that have close to 100 workers some discretion in whether they have to comply. Employers can decide whether they had at least 100 full-time employees in the previous year by picking a period of at least six consecutive months, instead of a full year. If companies lay off workers during the year so that they fall below the 100-worker threshold, they are supposed to sign a form saying that the layoffs were not done to avoid offering health coverage to their workers. Otherwise they will face a fine.

The administration has come under some criticism for not waiving the requirements for individuals as they have for companies. The law says that most people have to buy coverage starting this year. However, the administration is not expected to aggressively enforce the individual mandate to buy insurance in the first year.

 

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