Sending Office: Honorable Suzanne Bonamici
Cosponsor H.R. 4222, the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act
Cosponsors: Deutch, Crist, Blumenauer, Frankel, Grijalva, B. Higgins, Lowenthal, Moore, Moulton, Norton, Pallone, Peters, Polis, Rice, Soto, Swalwell, Wasserman Schultz
Endorsing organizations: SAGE USA, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force
The LGBT senior population is growing, and will roughly double to 6 million Americans by 2030. Unfortunately, decades of marginalization and legal and institutional barriers have left LGBT seniors with fewer sources of support, higher poverty rates, social
isolation, and inadequate access to health care.
In 2016, President Obama signed into law the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation that provides services and support for older people nationwide. It did not, however, include language to specifically address the needs of LGBT seniors.
The Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2017, which is named to honor LGBT Activists Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz, would amend the OAA to better care for older LGBT Americans.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Include LGBT older adults among women, rural, and racial and ethnic minorities as a population with the greatest economic and social needs under OAA.
- Permanently establish the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging to provide critical resources, information, and tools for aging service providers to better address the needs of LGBT seniors.
- Require the Assistant Secretary of Aging to oversee data collection for LGBT adults, their needs, and efficacy of state aging resources to meet those needs.
- Require the long-term care ombudsman to collect and analyze data regarding LGBT discrimination.
- Prioritize grants for organizations working to improve LGBT health, long-term care, and access to culturally responsive services.
We invite you to join us as a cosponsor of the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2017. For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Allison Smith (Allison.Smith@mail.house.gov).
Suzanne Bonamici Ted Deutch Charlie Crist
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