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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

House GOP Releases ACA Replacement Plan

June 24, 2016 12:58 PM

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 22 released a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plan would repeal the health exchanges as well as the employer and individual mandates under the ACA, and it would instead provide tax credits for individuals to purchase private insurance.The plan also contains proposals that would dramatically transform the Medicare and Medicaid programs as they exist today. The plan would eliminate the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, which incorporated several provisions that encouraged greater utilization of home and community-based services, and it would convert the program into either a block grant or per capita allotment option. The plan would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). However, it would also convert the Medicare program into a “premium support” model, restructure Medicare cost-sharing by limiting Medigap coverage, combine Medicare Parts A and B with a unified deductible, and institute a 20 percent uniform cost-sharing requirement for all services including home health and hospice.

While the plan does not specifically mention home and community-based care, it does contain proposals that would affect the home care and hospice community. In its Legislative Blueprint for Action, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) stated that any efforts to change the Medicare program through vouchers or premium support would place many seniors at risk, seriously erode support for the program, and set a dangerous precedent for other programs. While preparing the Medicare program for the changing coverage needs and demographics of the 21st century, Congress should ensure that Medicare continues to provide dependable, affordable, quality health care to older and disabled Americans. NAHC also stated that any proposals to revise the current cost sharing approaches through combined deductibles and copayments (or their equivalents) should be rejected. Cost sharing standards should incentivize high value services such as home health and hospice. Medicare beneficiaries should be able to purchase supplemental insurance to cover co-pays and deductibles without any limitation. NAHC stated that Congress should oppose any copay proposal for Medicare home health services and reject imposition of additional copayments on beneficiaries for Medicare hospice services.

With regards to Medicaid, NAHC stated that Congress should ensure that CMS properly implements the ACA’s Medicaid home care expansion and its broader coverage of home and community-based services under Medicaid.NAHC stated that Congress should reject any consideration of placing caps on Medicaid spending and increase the federal match for state Medicaid programs, thereby bolstering efforts to bring states into compliance with the Olmstead decision. Proposals for per beneficiary caps or full program federal spending caps such as block grants should be rejected by Congress.

NAHC supports modifying the employer responsibilities in the ACA to address home care specific needs. NAHC also supports abolishing IPAB.

In discussing the new plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) conceded that it is unlikely to become law anytime soon with President Obama in the White House. However, Speaker Ryan said the plan’s release is significant because it marks the first time that Republicans have actually released a proposal with which to replace the ACA. “Obamacare is fundamentally flawed,” Speaker Ryan said. “We're saying, don't force people to buy insurance. Make insurance companies compete for our business.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reacted to the proposal by calling it “too little, too late,” adding that it is a “political document” full of “recycled ideas” and “not worthy” of consideration. “The proposal they put forward today includes some more details, but the details they put forward today are wildly unpopular, which is why I suspect they will not receive a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives,” Earnest said.

To view the plan click here, and for a summary by the House Republicans click here.




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