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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

Action Needed on Important Employer Mandate Bill

Several more Representatives have signed on as cosponsors, but further advocacy is needed to recruit additional cosponsors before bill can get a vote
October 17, 2014 10:17 AM

NAHC is urging all of its members to ask their Representatives to support an important employer mandate bill, H.R. 5098, that was introduced by Rep. Daines (R-MT). Previously, NAHC Report highlighted current supporters of the bill, including Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), the highly influential Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as one of its sponsors. Since then, three more Representatives have added their names as cosponsors.

The full list of H.R. 5098’s current cosponsors is below.

  • Steve Daines (R-MT)
  • Luke Messer (R-IN)
  • Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
  • Trent Franks (R-AZ)
  • James Lankford (R-OK)
  • Walter Jones (R-NC)
  • Cynthia Lummis (R-WT)
  • Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
  • Keith Rothfus (R-PA)
  • Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  • Scott Perry (R-PA)
  • Tim Murphy (R-PA)
  • Tom Marino (R-PA)

"The home care and hospice community is fighting many battles to ensure access to care does not diminish across the country. From the face-to-face issue to the companionship exemption, from rebasing to the employer mandate, it is sometimes hard to remember that we do have allies fighting with us,” said NAHC’s Vice President for Law Bill Dombi. “I urge everybody to ask their Representatives to support the bill of one such ally, Rep. Daines, that would offer some much needed relief from the looming employer mandate and the drastic effects it could have on home care and hospice."

While it is a positive development that H.R. 5098 is continuing to gain support, as NAHC has indicated in previous action alerts, House leadership informed Rep. Daines that his bill will get a vote if he gets 40 cosponsors. With the House in recess until after the Midterm elections, NAHC asks all its members to take action and ask their Representatives to support this important bill. 

The employer mandate is scheduled to go into effect on January 1 of 2015, just a few months away. To obtain a delay in implementing this requirement, it is imperative that NAHC members accelerate their efforts of getting more cosponsors for H.R. 5098. 

The message NAHC wants its members to convey is that Medicaid and Medicare home care employers are unique in that, unlike other employment sectors that employ low-wage workers without health insurance, they cannot simply raise the price of their services to accommodate new costs that are beyond their control. 

According to NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris, “this important legislation will help preserve access to home care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients while providing significant assistance to state Medicaid programs struggling to pay for home and community-based care on limited budgets.”

A large coalition of groups including NAHC and its affiliate, National Council on Medicaid Home Care, have called on CMS to convene a stakeholder summit that brings together representatives from all stakeholder groups—consumers, providers, workers, and state Medicaid programs—to develop and evaluate all the potential options available that can result in health insurance coverage for the workers.  While CMS has listened to these concerns, no concrete action has yet to occur. Another year delay in the employer mandate would provide much needed breathing room to allow such a summit to be convened.

Please take a moment to urge your members of the House to cosponsor this legislation.  For contact information, click here: Contact Your Elected Officials.

When calling ask the receptionist to connect you with the staffer who handles health care issues.  A link to the Dear Colleague letter Congressman Daines sent to the House inviting others to cosponsor is available here

If the health staffers say they have not seen it, offer to forward it to them. To send a message through the NAHC Legislative Action Network, click here: Write your legislators.

As previously reported in NAHC Report, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are cosponsoring S. 1330 that would delay implementation of the ACA employer mandate until January 1, 2016 for all employers, including private pay home care agencies.  To urge your Senators to cosponsor S. 1330, go here: Write Your Legislators.

To send a message through the NAHC Legislative Action Network, please click here to Write your legislators.

For more on H.R. 5098, please click here.




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