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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

Following Supreme Court Decision on ACA, Focus Shifts to Medicaid Expansion in States

July 16, 2015 09:20 AM

An adverse ruling by the US Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies could have sent Obamacare into a tailspin and resulted in chaos for the health care system nationwide. Instead, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of the ACA subsidies for individuals who purchase insurance through a non-state exchange, as previously reported.

With the Supreme Court having now twice upheld key components of the ACA, the common perception is that, while there may be some legislative changes to the law, Obamacare is likely a permanent fixture in our health care system. As a result, states that have not yet done so are facing renewed questions about adopting Medicaid expansion.

In announcing that Obamacare is “here to stay” following the Supreme Court ruling, President Barack Obama quickly pivoted to making the case for Medicaid expansion. “If we can get some governors that have been holding out and resisting expanding Medicaid primarily for political reasons to think about what they can do for their citizens who don’t have health insurance but could get it very easily if state governments acted, then we could see even more improvement over time,” Obama said at a press conference following the ruling.

The week after the ruling, President Obama furthered his case for Medicaid expansion by flying to Tennessee for a speech on the issue. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam has supported Medicaid expansion but has been unable so far to convince the state legislature to approve it. “Understand that the way the law was set up, states have the option of expanding existing programs like Medicaid,” Obama said to a crowd in Tennessee. “Here in Tennessee, that's probably a couple hundred thousand people who could benefit. Given the strong history of innovation of healthcare in Tennessee, y'all should be able to find a solution. The federal government is here and ready to work with the states that want to get going.”

A previous Supreme Court decision in 2012 ruled that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion was unconstitutionally coercive and left it up to the states to opt out. So far, 30 states including the District of Columbia have adopted Medicaid expansion, while two states (Alaska and Utah) are considering adoption, and 19 states are not currently expanding Medicaid. The states that have not yet adopted Medicaid expansion are largely controlled by Republicans.  According to the White House, these states could provide coverage to 4.3 million people currently without insurance by expanding Medicaid.

In addition to making the substantive case for Medicaid expansion, the Administration has demonstrated a willingness to work with states to accept specifically-tailored plans. This has allowed otherwise unwilling states to develop their own approaches. For example, the Republican-controlled Montana legislature approved a plan this year that required low-income individuals to pay premiums equal to 2 percent of their incomes and further required a third party contractor administer the program. Montana is currently preparing to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services to receive the necessary approval for the plan.

Other states like Alaska and Utah with resistant legislatures are continuing to work to achieve Medicaid expansion. In Alaska, where the state legislature voted down expansion proposals this year, Governor Bill Walker announced his intentions to proceed towards Medicaid expansion despite opposition from the legislature. 

NAHC Reportwill continue to provide updates on Medicaid expansion efforts in the states.




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