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White House sets aging conference date

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The Obama administration has set July 13 as the date for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.

The White House has been organizing the conferences about every 10 years since 1961. Officials have been planning the 2015 conference for months, but, up till now, the conference date has not been publicly available.

Participants in the conferences have no direct ability to change laws or regulations, but they can influence policy conversations about topics such as long-term care (LTC) services, traditional pension plans and retirement savings incentives.

In 2005, for example, at the last White House aging conference, the participants adopted resolutions promoting a shift toward use of home-based and community-based care, and away from pushing older people who want to stay in their own homes toward institutional care.

See also: LTC Strategies From The White House Conference On Aging

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The conference resolutions amplified lobbying efforts that eventually helped members of Congress add Section 2601 to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA Section 2601 encourages states to spend more of their Medicaid LTC money on home-based and community-based care.

See also: Home care planning: 4 things LTC planners should know about the new regs

Obama administration officials noted in the 2015 conference date announcement that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, and the 80th anniversary of Social Security.  

“The conference is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs while bringing together older Americans, caregivers, government officials, members of the public, business leaders, and community leaders to discuss the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans in the next decade,” officials said.

Conference organizers are holding a pre-conference regional forum in Boston today. They also have held regional forums in Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa, Fla.