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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

Senator Wyden Introduces Bill to Lower Out-of-Pocket Medicare Costs

September 21, 2016 03:46 PM

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, introduced on Wednesday a bill to lower out of pocket expenses for Medicare recipients and expand the number of low-income seniors who are eligible for financial assistance.

The proposed legislation, the Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act, would set a cap on out-of-pocket expenses for traditional Medicare services, something that already exists for Medicare Advantage and most commercial insurance plans. The bill limits the total amount of out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare Part A and B, including copays and deductibles, at $5,500 for 2018. Thereafter, the limit, which would apply only to covered services, would be adjusted up or down based on the movement of the Consumer Price Index.

In addition, the bill would eliminate the two-year waiting period to enroll in Medicare for people with disabilities and reduce penalties for those who sign up late for Medicare Part B to ten percent per month for twice as long as the time the eligible person waited to enroll. Currently, there is a lifetime penalty for those who enroll late. The bill would also reduce cost-sharing for “near-poor” beneficiaries who currently do not qualify for assistance and extend cost-sharing assistance for Part D enrollees in Puerto Rico, so they would be eligible for the same benefits as other enrollees.

“Medicare has long been an ironclad guarantee to seniors of health care security and peace of mind in their later years,” Wyden said in a statement. “Today, the promise of Medicare falls short for too many who find their health costs becoming more and more unaffordable. Protecting and strengthening the Medicare guarantee is a vital task as the program prepares to enroll the next generation of older Americans, and these policies will put many seniors on a firm foundation for years to come.”

Wyden, a keynote speaker at NAHC’s annual conference in 2014, stands to be the chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee if the Democrats re-take the Senate in the 2016 elections. The proposed legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennett (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). As each co-sponsor is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, this bill is a useful guide to the sort of priorities Wyden and his party allies would pursue in the next Congress, particularly if they control the upper chamber.

“I commend Senator Wyden, who has recognized that seniors are increasingly carrying huge out-of-pocket health care costs,” said NAHC President Val Halamandaris.

According to Wyden’s office, the companion legislation in the House of Representatives will be introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-MI), ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, respectively.

NAHC will be monitoring the bill closely to ensure it respects the needs of home care patients and providers.




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