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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

Speaker Paul Ryan Convenes Task Force on ACA Replacement

May 3, 2016 11:55 AM

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has shown his determination to ensure that the Republican Party shows its leadership abilities and keeps its promises to the American public. The Speaker took some satisfaction in finally getting an ACA repeal bill on to the President’s desk. While the President vetoed the bill, Speaker Ryan sees the action as a place holder, a harbinger, of what is to come with the hoped election of a Republican President. The Speaker has worked to seal off vulnerability and, at the same time, show leadership by urging his House Committee Chairmen with jurisdiction to write a bill to capture the public imagination and win enactment as a better alternative to the ACA.

Speaker Ryan has announced the creation of the House Task Force on Health Care Reform. Its mission is to, “modernize American health care with patient centered solutions that lower costs, promote innovation, strengthen the safety net for the most vulnerable, and improve access, choice, and quality.

The rationale for change: “Obamacare is proof that putting the government at the center of our health care system harms patients, providers, and businesses.” As an alternative, the Speaker has pointed to “innovative, market based, and patient centered solutions.”

The members of the task force include: Budget Committee Chairman, Tom Price (R-GA); Education and Workforce Committee Chairman, John Kline (R-MN); Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Fred Upton (R-MI); and Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Kevin Brady (R-TX).

The goals of the task force are to: 1) empower every American to gain access to coverage that is affordable and portable; 2) provide Americans with more choices; 3) protect the quality of care for all patients—including those with pre-existing conditions; 4) provide innovation to improve competition, harness the power of new technologies, lower prices, and foster better cures and treatments; and 5) save Medicare and Medicaid to strengthen health care security for seniors and America’s most vulnerable.

Speaker Ryan has long sought to rein in Medicare spending. But, in the context of the task force, he seemed to telegraph his policy to change the nature of Medicare in the future from an entitlement program to one based on premium support. The idea would be to give newly retired seniors a voucher and allow them to go shopping and choose whatever plan they thought was best suited to their needs. This plan also offers the ability to predict, reduce, and limit the impact on federal spending. Speaker Ryan has expressed similar concerns about Medicaid. “Medicaid is projected to grow by 75 percent within the next ten years leading to a fear that it will overwhelm state and federal budgets and fail the vulnerable people who need it the most.” The solution proposed for Medicaid is to convert the federal share of Medicaid into a block grant tailored to reach each state’s needs, indexed for inflation and population growth. The states would also be freed from federal program requirements and enrollment criteria.

The four committee chairmen have been meeting and report good progress. It should be stated that they expect to produce a group of principles, but not an actual bill. Energy & Commerce Chairman, Fred Upton, told Sara Ferris of The Hill newspaper, “Give us a little time, a month or so, and we will be very close to producing a Republican alternative.” Speaker Ryan’s idea is to have a plan that is a reasonable alternative, which can be embraced by the GOP’s nominee for President and all others on the ballot who are running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Democrats are skeptical that much will come of this effort because of what they called the paucity of alternatives. They make the case that it is impossible to come up with a better plan, which does not take away insurance coverage for tens of millions of U.S. citizens.




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