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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

President Signs Budget Agreement to Raise Debt Ceiling and Increase Spending Caps

November 3, 2015 10:59 AM

On Monday, November 2, President Barack Obama signed into law a budget agreement that increases the debt ceiling and raises caps on domestic and defense spending. The agreement will prevent the federal government from risking default (see previous NAHC Report article here) by raising the debt ceiling through mid-March 2017. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had stated the deadline for raising the $18 trillion debt ceiling in order to prevent the risk of default was November 3. 

The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 64-35 with one not voting, and the House passed the measure by a vote of 266-167 with two not voting. While some Republicans opposed the legislation, many including Republican leadership joined Democrats to support passage of the legislation. In one of his last acts before stepping down, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) helped negotiate and usher the agreement through Congress.

In addition to raising the debt ceiling, the legislation will serve as a framework to guide Congress in passing legislation to fund the federal government in the weeks to come. The date by which Congress must pass spending legislation in order to prevent a government shutdown is December 11. As the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) previously reported, the budget agreement lifts some of the uncertainty that hung over the heads of the home care and hospice community. However, the next step will be for Congress to develop and pass the spending legislation. NAHC is carefully monitoring that process for any proposals to impose home health copays or include payment rate cuts.

“Democrats and Republicans came together to set up a responsible, long-term budget process, and what we now see is a budget that reflects our values, that grows our economy, creates jobs, keeps America safe,” President Obama said.

“This is just the first step between now and the middle of December, before the Christmas break,” President Obama said. “The appropriators are going to have to do their job; they're going to have to come up with spending bills. But this provides them the guidepost and the baseline with which to do that. And I’m confident that they can get it done on time.”

Some lawmakers have raised the prospect of potential spending cuts, including cuts to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. NAHC is carefully monitoring the negotiations over spending and opposes any offset that would imposehome health copays or include payment rate cuts. 

Home health copays would be a “sick tax” on our most vulnerable seniors, and additional payment rate cuts on top of those that have already been implemented would directly impact access to care for Medicare home health beneficiaries. NAHC encourages you to contact your members of Congress using NAHC’s Legislative Action Center (click here), and ask them to oppose any home health copays or payment cuts to offset the cost of any legislation.




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