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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

After Supreme Court Decision, Congress Weighs Options on Affordable Care Act

June 29, 2015 09:04 AM

As previously reported, the Supreme Court on June 26 ruled that individuals who purchase health insurance through a federal exchange are eligible to continue receiving subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to the ruling, Republicans in Congress had debated how to respond in the event that the Court struck down the subsidies, with some preparing legislation to  provide temporary relief to currently insured individuals while repealing the employer and individual mandates. Following the ruling, Republican lawmakers are necessarily adjusting their approach. Most have conceded the reality that the law is here to stay for the foreseeable future, at least until 2017 when President Obama will leave office.

Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), said on Thursday that the ruling “essentially amounts to a ceasefire in the repeal effort.” In a video released today, Halamandaris further explained that the law is unlikely to be repealed and that instead we should come together to improve it.

Despite the fact that any effort to repeal the ACA is virtually guaranteed to fail due to President Obama’s veto authority, some Republicans are intent to keep up the symbolic fight. One option is to use the so-called budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority rather than 60 votes in the Senate, to pass language repealing or significantly changing the law. Another option is to use Congress’s authority over spending legislation to cut off funding for the bill’s implementation. As of this week, both the House and Senate have advanced funding measures out of Committee that would do just that.

Still the fact remains that, even if Congress were to succeed in passing such a measure, President Obama holds veto authority which he would almost surely use.

Others in Congress have argued for a more practical, goal-oriented approach to change specific aspects of the law where bipartisan agreement might be possible.

“At the end of the day, there is not going to be any complete repeal of the law until there is a new administration,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) according to POLITICO. “But we can’t sit back as a party who stood against it, and pretend that it is what it is and we aren’t going to do anything.”

Even President Obama on Thursday indicated his willingness to consider improvements. “I can work with Republicans and Democrats to move forward,” Obama said in a statement following the ruling. “Let’s join together.”

Given the fact that the health care law is here to stay through at least 2016, NAHC is urging Congress to consider specific measures to improve the law with a particular focus on long-term care and improving chronic care management.

NAHC recommends that Congress change the employer mandate in order to soften the blow it will have against small employers. Following are NAHC’s recommended changes to the employer mandate: 1) exempt home care providers from the mandate; 2) amend the definition of full-time to 40 hours per week; 3) provide subsidies to home care agencies to cover the increased costs of providing insurance to all employees; 4) provide tax credits to home care clients to cover the increased cost of care triggered by the employer mandate; 5) help states provide low-wage home care workers with health insurance through Medicaid.




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