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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

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on the Future of the CHIP Program

December 12, 2014 03:17 PM

The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee recently held a hearing on the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  In his opening statement, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA) highlighted the biggest issue that is facing CHIP, and why Congress must act:

“CHIP is a means-tested program designed to cover children and pregnant women who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but may not have access to purchase affordable private health insurance.

Most recently, the Affordable Care Act reauthorized CHIP through FY2019, but the law only provided funding for the program through September 30, 2015.

CHIP has historically enjoyed bipartisan Congressional support, and it is widely seen as providing better care than many state Medicaid programs.

Moving forward, Congress should be thoughtful and data-driven in our approach.”

The hearing included a panel of expert witnesses comprised of the following:

Evelyne Baumrucker
Health Financing Analyst, Congressional Research Service

Alison Mitchell
Health Care Financing Analyst, Congressional Research Service

Carolyn Yocom
Director, Health Care Government Accountability Office

Anne Schwartz, PhD
Executive Director, Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which were set up as entitlement programs that weren’t subjected to periodic reauthorization by Congress or Congress’ discretionary spending appropriations process, CHIP does need to be reauthorized and funded through Congress. While the program is currently authorized through 2019, its funding is set to expire at the end of 2015.

In FY 2013, CHIP provided coverage for more than 8 million children and 10,000 pregnant women who were not eligible for traditional Medicaid coverage. As Congress begins to  consider the future of the program, many of the witnesses and Subcommittee members are concerned with how to cover this population in the future.  Frank Pallone (D-NJ), the Health Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, urged Congress to support extending CHIP funding through 2019, and introduced a bill that would do so. “[CHIP] is a vital program that provides coverage to 8.1 million low-to-moderate income children throughout the Nation who are unable to afford or are not eligible for other forms of coverage,” said Rep. Pallone during the hearing, and continuing:

“Without Congressional action, funding for the program will expire next year.  This would inevitably lead to gaps in coverage for some and lack of coverage for many others.  So we must have a conversation now about providing funding as soon as possible.  In fact, I would urge my colleagues to consider an extension during the lame duck – to ensure predictability to the many states that have come to rely and appreciate the CHIP program.  I don’t think anyone would argue that CHIP should not be extended…

Across red and blue states, including some that did and some that did not proactively implement the ACA, Governors overwhelmingly support the extension of CHIP funding.

I have a bill – H.R. 5364, the “CHIP Extension and Improvement Act of 2014” – that would achieve this purpose while also instituting reforms that would enable states to eliminate administrative burdens and increase quality of care.            

By funding the program through 2019, we would provide states with more time to plan for the future, putting them in a better position to ensure that there are no disruptions in affordable and comprehensive coverage for those families who depend on the program.”

NAHC and its affiliate, the Pediatric Home Care Association of America, strongly support an extension of funding for the CHIP program.  The fact that the powerful Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held this hearing, and the fact that CHIP funding ends at the end of the next fiscal year indicates that this will be a  priority for the 114th Congress.




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