EWA Urges Support for Critical Eldercare Workforce Programs
March 20, 2017
Concerned the Budget Blueprint Risks Access, Quality of Health Care for Older Adults
Washington, DC – Today, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) released the following statement on President Trump’s America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again:
The Eldercare Workforce Alliance is deeply concerned by the cuts proposed in the President’s budget blueprint. As offered, the blueprint drastically reduces critical health workforce training programs, cuts health research funding, and eliminates much-needed home- and community-based services for older adults across the county. At a time when our nation is rapidly aging, EWA urges Congress to provide adequate funding to ensure our eldercare system can provide high-quality care to older adults.
EWA is particularly concerned about the Title VII and VIII Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), given the administration’s intent to cut $403 million from the Department of Health and Human Services’ health professions and nursing workforce training budget. The GWEP is the only federally-funded program dedicated to training health professionals, family caregivers, and consumers in the unique needs of older adults. The community-based GWEPs aim to develop a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement while improving health outcomes for older adults, providing a critical service in communities across the country.
In addition, EWA urges support for the vital health research activities conducted by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Aging, which increase our understanding of many of today’s most pressing health care challenges, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. EWA also supports home- and community-based programs, like the services offered through the Community Services Block Grant, that allow older adults to receive high-quality care in their homes.
We appreciate the President’s proposal to provide additional funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA plays a critical role in both providing high-quality care to our older veterans and training the geriatrics and gerontological health workforce. We look forward to working with President Trump and Congress to craft a full budget that recognizes the value of programs that train health care professionals, provides adequate funding for research into lifesaving medical advances, and supports programs that allow older Americans to live well in their homes and communities.