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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

House Passes Budget Legislation Repealing Employer Mandate

October 27, 2015 09:19 AM

On Friday, October 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation by a vote of 240-189 that would repeal the employer mandate, along with several other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The other provisions include: the individual mandate, the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, and the medical device excise tax. The legislation (H.R. 3762) addresses the changes using a procedure known as budget reconciliation, which allows Congress to pass budget-related legislation with only 50, rather than the normal 60, votes in the Senate (for more information about reconciliation, see previous NAHC Report article here).

While an earlier version of the legislation contained language repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), that language repealing IPAB was since removed from the bill for procedural reasons. However, the House has already passed separate legislation repealing IPAB, which has yet to be passed by the Senate (see previous NAHC Report article here). The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) supports the legislation repealing IPAB.

President Barack Obama is almost certain to veto the legislation in the event that it is passed by the Senate. However, some Congressional Republicans have stated their belief that, even if the bill does not become law, sending it to the President’s desk for the first time would be a victory on its own, and could pave the way for future changes.

“With this bill, we can finally confront the president with the reality confronting working families every day: higher costs and lower quality,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is widely viewed as the frontrunner to become the next Speaker of the House following Speaker John Boehner’s resignation. “We can put on the president's desk a bill that will dismantle Obamacare and lay the foundation for a patient-centered system. This bill would give patients more control over their health care, and now I urge the Senate to approve it.”Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, said that sending the bill to the President’s desk will demonstrate that “Congress is doing its job.” He also said that, while budget reconciliation is not a “silver bullet” or “a cure-all,” it is “a gridlock busting process.”

However, despite the lower vote threshold required, Senate passage of the reconciliation bill is not yet assured. A group of Senate Republicans recently expressed their opposition to the bill based on the fact that is does not repeal enough of the ACA. “If this bill cannot be amended so that it fully repeals Obamacare pursuant to Senate rules, we cannot support this bill,” said Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). In addition, some moderate Republicans might oppose the measure because of its inclusion of language defunding Planned Parenthood. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not yet stated when the Senate will consider the legislation, but he has stated the Senate could possibly amend the legislation.

NAHC supports a legislative repeal of the employer mandate. In its 2015 Legislative Blueprint, NAHC stated: “Home care employers do not have the ability to control service pricing like most other employers that are affected by the employer responsibility provisions in the health care reform legislation. It is counter to the philosophy of health care reform that consumers of private pay home care services would need to pay higher rates for care.” Stay tuned to NAHC Report for further updates on this legislation.




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