OWL in Action

OWL recognizes that there is strength in numbers. We are proud to work closely with other national organizations to promote shared policy interests. Here are a few examples of our advocacy:


April 29, 2016

Letter in support of retirement savings plan in California

OWL has signed onto to a letter in support of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings program.  This retirement savings plan is a 401(k) plan operated by the state and open to private-sector workers whose employers don’t offer a retirement savings plan.  The plan, in which employees would invest a percentage of their wages unless they opt-out, would help low-income workers in particular, who are often least likely to save.

April 21, 2016

Letter to support nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to United States Supreme Court

OWL has signed onto a letter urging the Senate to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  The letter underscores how the Supreme Court’s decisions give meaning to legal rights for women, and how women rely on the courts for justice and need the Court to be functioning at full force.  The letter also outlines the Senate’s Constitutional responsibility to vote on Supreme Court nominations, even during election years.

April 15,2016

Letter in support of investments in critical aging programs in FY 2017 Appropriations Bill

OWL, as a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, has signed onto a letter to the House Appropriations Committee and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee to prioritize investments in programs that enhance the dignity, health, and independence of older adults, such as the Older Americans Act and other critical aging programs in the passage of FY 2017 Labor-HHS appropriations bill.

March 18, 2016

Letter to support reauthorization of Older Americans Act

OWL has signed onto a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education & the Workforce to support House Bill S. 192 to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA).  On July 16, 2015, the Senate passed S. 192, under unanimous consent.  The OAA has been essential to developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community-based services that help older adults age with independence and dignity in their homes and communities.

March 17, 2016

Letter to support Sewall-Belmont House as a National Park Service full site

OWL has signed onto a letter to support Senate bill 1975 and action from President Obama which would call for the Sewall-Belmont House to be included as a full site under the National Park Service.  The Sewall-Belmont House is the headquarters and maintains the collection of the historic National Women’s Party.  Becoming a National Park Service full site will help the Sewall-Belmont House remain solvent and prosper for many generations to come.

March 16, 2016

OWL Executive Director attending Women in Finance Symposium

OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar will be attending the 6th Annual Women in Finance Symposium on Thursday, March 17th at the United States Department of the Treasury.  The event will bring together women who are senior Administration officials, private sector leaders, and international development organizations representatives for a series of keynotes and panel discussions on innovations and investments in women in finance and technology.

March 14, 2016

Letter to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions on the Mental Health Reform Act

OWL has signed onto a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions to recommend revisions to the draft Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.  The letter underscores the need for a stronger federal commitment to building a healthcare workforce to meet the mental and behavioral needs of seniors.

March 3, 2016

Bill to improve retirement security for women

OWL has endorsed the Social Security Parent Penalty Repeal Act which would improve the retirement security for parents that have left the workforce to care for young children.  Many parents are forced to leave the workforce to care for children, but Social Security does not currently take into account years lost due to this circumstance, and averages in years with no income as $0 to calculate monthly benefits.  This bill would correct the formula for benefit calculation.

March 3, 2016

Letter to the Office of Management and Budget in support of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

OWL has signed onto a letter to the Office of Management and Budget in support for the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.  This executive order helps ensure that federal contractors behave responsibly and ethically with respect to labor standards, civil rights laws and more.

March 2, 2016

OWL Executive Director attends Women’s History Month celebration at the Capitol

OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar was invited to attend a celebration of Women’s History Month in Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.  Guests included House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden.

February 22, 2016

Letter to Congressional appropriators on increasing investments in dementia care, support and research

OWL, along with other LEAD (Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease) members, has signed onto a letter to the Congressional Committee on Appropriations urging the committee to include the resources necessary to support dementia and aging research within the FY 2017 budget. 

January 26, 2016

Letter to Hawaii Legislature in support of statewide long-term care insurance program

OWL, along with Caring Across Generations and other national organizations, has signed onto a letter to the Hawaii Legislature in support of a bill that would establish a statewide long-term care insurance program.  The bill would be the first of its kind and would serve as a model in finding affordable solutions to the long-term care challenges facing our nation.

December 21, 2015

Letter to CMS Administrator on 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

OWL has signed onto a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt on unmet notification needs for Marketplace enrollees nearing Medicare eligibility in the proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters.  The letter applauds CMS for seeking input on the issue and urges the agency to develop a system to screen and notify people who have or who are seeking Marketplace coverage about approaching Medicare eligibility.

November 20, 2015

OWL joins the Coalition for Medicare Choices Medicare Advantage Care Coordination Task Force

OWL has joined other national organizations as a member of the Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) Medicare Advantage Care Coordination (MACC) Task Force.  The MACC Task Force is a collaboration between leading aging, caregiver, patient, provider, and minority health organizations.  Its focus is on care coordination for Medicare beneficiaries, and the release of resources focusing on multiple chronic conditions.

November 17, 2015

Letters to Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) in support of the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act and Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act

OWL joined other organizations in a letter to Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) in support of the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act which would expand eligibility and benefits for the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs so benefits would extend to veterans of all eras and enhance the broad array of benefits.  OWL also signed onto a letter to Rep. Langevin and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) in support of the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2015 which would reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program through FY 2020.

November 11, 2015

Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee on elder abuse prevention

OWL joined the 3000 member bipartisan Elder Justice Coalition in urging that three specific funding levels related to elder abuse prevention be supported in any final Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill for FY 2016. We urged support of the full $25 million contained in the President’s budget for the Elder Justice Initiative, the existing funding level of $1.7 billion for the Social Services Block Grant for FY 2016, and that you support an additional $5 million authorized under the Elder Justice Act for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

November 11, 2015

Letter to Senate Appropriations Committee in support of re-funding the Crime Victims Fund

As a member of the Elder Justice Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter urging the Senate to provide a release in the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations omnibus bill to permit the continuation of the high FY 2015 disbursement levels from the Crime Victims Fund. Higher levels of funding would allow jurisdictions to plan holistically in their response to victims of crime, including elder abuse victims.

November 10, 2015

Letter to Senator Warren in support of the SAVE Act

OWL joined other SSSC organizations in strongly supporting S. 2251, the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (“SAVE”) Benefits Act. This legislation would provide a one-time payment to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans, SSI recipients and others in recognition that they will not receive an automatic cost of living adjustment (“COLA”) in 2016.

November 10, 2015

Letter to the CDC calling for specific AFib additions to Healthy People 2020

Spearheaded by the Alliance for Aging Research, OWL joined the the AFib Optimal Treatment Task Force in requesting two additions to the existing Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Healthy People 2020 goal. We believe that this goal should be updated to include 1) AFib as a modifiable (controllable) risk factor for stroke, and 2) addressing the under-anticoagulation of older AFib patients as an emerging issue in heart disease and stroke.

November 9, 2015

Letter to HHS Secretary Burwell urging HHS to prevent discrimination in ACA plans

As a part of the I Am Essential Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter to HHS urging the Office for Civil Rights to better define discriminatory practices in the final ACA Non-discrimination rule. OWL was one of 197 organizations that signed on to urge HHS to define as discriminatory the practices that some insurance companies are engaging in that impede access to medications and other health care services, particularly against those with serious and chronic conditions.

November 6, 2015

Letter to Congress to permanently reinstate charitable giving tax incentives

OWL joined in support of Independent Sector’s efforts to permanently reinstate federal tax incentives for charitable giving, including making permanent these tax provisions that play such a vital role for charitable organizations and the communities they serve.

November 5, 2015

Letter to the Committee on Appropriations regarding FY16 Budget Appropriations

As a member of the LEAD Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter urging the Senate to ensure that the FY2016 appropriations agreement is passed without further delay and that the final agreement includes the full $350 million in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research funding approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

November 5, 2015

Letter to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in support of the EUREKA Act

In an effort to address Alzheimer’s Disease, OWL joined the LEAD Coalition in strongly encouraging the HELP Committee to advance as soon as possible S. 2067, the Ensuring Useful Research Expenditures is Key for Alzheimer’s (EUREKA) Act, to supplement, not supplant, other public and private sources of dementia research funding.

October 26, 2015

Letter to OMB regarding FY 2017 Administrative Funding for the Social Security Administration

A member of the SSA Advocacy Group, OWL requested adequate funding, an estimated $13 billion, for SSA operations be included in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget to continue service level improvements and to address stewardship responsibilities.

October 14, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of H.R. 3696, “Medicare Premium Fairness Act of 2015”

OWL joined the other member organizations of the LCAO in requesting support for H.R. 3696, the “Medicare Premium Fairness Act of 2015,” which would prevent sudden steep increases in Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles in 2016.

October 14, 2015

Monthly Strengthen Social Security Coalition Steering Committee Meeting

The Strengthen Social Security Coalition consists of over 300 member organizations representing over 50 million Americans working to strengthen Social Security and oppose cutting it. As one of 30 organizations on the steering committee, OWL meets monthly to move the goals of the coalition forward.

October 08, 2015

Letter to other Senators urging their support of Senator Baldwin’s effort to used carried interest revenue to avoid sequester cuts

Along with Americans for Tax Fairness and a total of 52 organizations, OWL signed on to a letter urging Senators to join an effort led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) requesting Senate leaders to make closing the carried interest loophole a top priority in any budget deal. Closing the carried interest tax loophole, which lets hedge fund and private equity investment managers pay a tax rate that is about half what they should pay, would raise revenue needed to avoid damaging service cuts that could be forced by the budget sequester.

October 08, 2015

Letter to the Senate in support of reducing the projected Medicare Part B premium increase

OWL signed on to a letter to the senate expressing the LCAO’s support for legislation that would mitigate the projected Part B premium increase for some Medicare beneficiaries and the deductible increase that would affect all beneficiaries.

October 6, 2015

Press Event Calling for Action to Keep Medicare Strong & Affordable

OWL ED Bobbie Brinegar joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at a press event to call on Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to take urgent action to keep Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles affordable for millions of America’s seniors.

October 1, 2015

Letter to Chairman Alexander and Senator Murray to include the components of the Research for All Act of 2015 into the legislative text of the Innovations for Healthier Americans Initiative

OWL signed on in support of addressing healthcare disparities that exist between men and women due to the way medical research is conducted in the United States.The Research for All Act codifies the new NIH policies aimed at examining sex differences in basic research at the NIH. Biomedical research has historically utilized male research subjects disproportionately, creating a significant gap in knowledge regarding the extent to which disease processes and underlying physiology are influenced by biological sex.

September 30, 2015

Letter to Congressional committees concerning anticipated increases in 2016 Medicare Part B premiums and the Part B deductible

OWL joined 70 organizations in writing to urge Congress to advance a solution to mitigate projected increases to Medicare Part B premiums and the Part B deductible in 2016. According to the 2015 Medicare Trustees Report, Part B premiums will increase by 52%—up to $159.30 per month from $104.90—for 30% of beneficiaries. The trustees also predict that this increase will be accompanied by a hike in the Part B deductible—up to $223 from $147.

September 25, 2015

Older Adult Mental Health Week

OWL founded OlderAdult Mental Health Week and again used it to raise awareness this year. Together with the The National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, OWL worked with the top organizations in the areas of advocacy, family caregiving, clinical mental health practice, cognitive aging, cultural diversity, dementia, elder abuse, LGBT aging, Medicare, mental and behavioral health, model practices, substance abuse, suicide prevention, trauma, workforce needs, and other general resources to make this week a success.

September 24, 2015

Letter to Congress concerning anticipated increases in the 2016 Medicare Part B premiums and deductible

Addressed to the Senate Finance Committee, the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and the House Ways & Means Committee, the letter urges the Committees to advance a solution to mitigate the projected increases, identifying both administrative and legislative options the Committees should explore.

September 22, 2015

Letter to Senators Warner and Isakson in support of the “Care Planning Act”

As an LCAO member, OWL signed on to a letter in strong support of “The Care Planning Act” and the Senators’ steadfast efforts to ensure that older adults living with advanced illness or nearing the end-of-life receive person- and family-centered care that is well coordinated and honors their dignity, values, and health care choices at each stage of their illness.

August 10, 2015

Letter to the President in support of SSDI Reallocation

As a member of the Strength Social Security Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter to President Obama urging for Social Security Disability Insurance reallocation to be a part of his 2016 budget proposal in order to ensure the vitality of the program into the future.

August 4, 2015

Letter to Facebook to keep Nonprofit’s post free

As a part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s initiative, OWL signed on with other health-relate nonprofits to a letter urging Facebook to adopt policies like Google and Twitter regarding nonprofit grants. Facebook changed the way it delivers information, forcing organizations to pay to promote their posts in order to reach their audience (the audience who opted in to “like” your page). For-profit companies see this as the cost of doing business, may not matter, but for nonprofit organizations the impact of paying to reach our supporters with education, safety, support and research messages is great.

July 29, 2015
Sign On to Rep. Nita Lowey’s SS Caregiver Credit Act

This legislation assists family caregivers who take time out of the workforce, lowering their future Social Security benefits. Mitigating those losses is of particular concern to women, who are more likely to serve as caregivers and who are already at a greater risk for retirement insecurity.

July 14, 2015
Letter in support of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act

AARP has been working to develop legislation that would create a national strategy to support family caregivers. This concept was included as a recommendation in both the full Commission on Long-Term Care report and the alternative report. It was also among the CCD/LCAO Joint Recommendations from the Commission on Long-Term Care Reports. We anticipate the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act of 2015 will be introduced in the House and OWL signed on to the letter urging representatives to support it.

July 10, 2015

Letter in support of the President’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

The executive order tasks the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, a set of procurement officials representing key federal agencies, with issuing regulations on how to implement the order. This rule is a major step forward in ensuring that federal contractors are held accountable for how they treat workers.

July 9, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of H.R 952, the Put a Nurse in the Nursing Home Act

Consumer Voice spearheaded a letter in support of legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky calling for nursing homes to have a registered nurse (RN) on duty 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

July 8, 2015

Letter to the Senate in favor of re authorization of the Older Americans Act

One of the members of the LCAO, OWL signed on to a letter to the Senate urging them to reauthorize the Older Americans Act.

July 8, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of improving and expanding the EITC

OWL joined hundreds of national organizations in signing on to a letter calling on Congress to make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent and expand the EITC for childless workers.


June 22, 2015

Letter to the President advocating for older Americans with vision loss

Responding to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, OWL signed on to a letter that sends a strong message about the importance of considering the challenges and opportunities for people with vision loss in all aspects of policymaking, and especially with respect to the laws, programs, and services that impact older Americans.

June 18, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of the Alzheimer’s Act

As a member of the LCAO, OWL became a signatory on the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act letter.

June 9, 2015

Letter to the Department of Justice regarding law enforcement response to domestic violence and sexual assault

As a member of the CEDAW Task Force, OWL signed on to a letter to Attorney General Lynch urging the Department issue much-needed guidance outlining how flawed law enforcement responses to domestic violence and sexual assault can violate federal law and constitute police misconduct.

June 9, 2015

Letter to the House of Representatives in support of the 21st Century Cures Act

OWL joined other patient and caregivers advocates in support of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. This is a patient-focused bill that will advance the discovery and development of treatments, strengthen the patient voice in the regulatory environment, increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration, and greatly improve our innovation ecosystem.

May 20, 2015

Letter to the House of Representatives in support of Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015

Along with other members of the LCAO, OWL wrote to representatives to cosponsor H.R. 1571, the bipartisan “Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2015,” introduced by Reps. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Joe Heck (R-NV). This legislation would amend the Medicare statute’s definition of “post-hospital extended care services” to clarify that Medicare beneficiaries in observation are deemed inpatients during this time. This change will help ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive the SNF coverage they need under Medicare Part A.

May 18, 2015

Letter Proposing Dementia Care and Services Research Summit

OWL joined the LEAD Coalition in urging HHS, NIH, ACL, and CMS to organize a National Research Summit on Care and Services for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias to be held in the first half of 2016.

May 12, 2015

Support of Senator Warren’s Care Planning Act of 2015

As a member of the Elder Justice Coalition, OWL signed on in support of Senator Warren reintroducing her Care Planning Act of 2015. The Act aims to help people get the care they want by offering a patient-centered approach to pre-planning for care. A demonstration program will be created to test new models for more intensive services for those with advanced illness, and provides funding to support the development of materials, web and telephone-based resources, and a public information campaign to encourage effective care planning.

May 4, 2015

Letter to the Comptroller endorsing the nomination of Kirsten Axelsen as commissioner on the MedPAC

Given her background and proficiency in finance and Medicare issues, OWL joined the Alliance for Aging Research in supporting the nomination of Kirsten Axelsen, M.S., Vice President of Worldwide Policy at Pfizer, Inc., as commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

May 2, 2015

Letter to the Office of Victims of Crime in the Justice Department

As a part of the Elder Justice Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter to Joye Frost, Director of the Office of Victims of Crime in the Justice Department, to request that the Crime Victims Fund specifically allocates a portion of its grants and services to victims of crimes involving elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Congress increased the Crime Victims Fund in the FY15 Appropriations Act, which released $2.36 billion to the Fund—a 350% increase from previous years. Rep. King asks that as the population ages and elder abuse increases, a “proportionate amount” of the Fund be released to support elder abuse victims and the services they need.

May 2, 2015

Supporter, National Voter Registration Day 

In support of National Voter Registration Day, OWL once again signed up to encourage all women 40+ to sign up in September to vote by giving them the resources and information to ease the process.

April 29, 2015

Letter in support of Kirsten Axelsen, M.S., Vice President of Worldwide Policy at Pfizer, Inc., and her nomination to MedPAC

OWL believes Ms. Axelsen’s background and proficiency in finance and Medicare issues will be a welcome and valuable addition to MedPAC’s breadth of expertise.  She understands the economics of health care reform, particularly Medicare payment policies such as Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage and the Part D program. 

April 22, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of the Research for All Act

OWL signed on to support the Research for All Act, introduced by Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Representatives Cooper and Lummis. The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) circulated a sign-on letter to endorse the bill, because it will improve our knowledge of women and minority inclusion in medical research by updating GAO reports examining inclusion of these subgroups at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It will also expand our understanding of sex differences in both basic and clinical research at the NIH, and direct the FDA to guarantee that clinical drug trials for expedited drug products are sufficient to determine safety and effectiveness for both men and women.

April 14, 2015

Healthy Families Act Coalition Letter to Congress

On March 18th, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, the national paid family and medical leave bill. OWL singed on to a letter to congress urging them to vote in favor of the FAMILY Act.

April 7, 2015

LCAO FY 2016 Appropriations letter to Congress

OWL, as an LCAO member, urged Congress to prioritize investments in discretionary programs that enhance the dignity, health and independence of older adults, and support their caregivers. To this end, we provided a list of vital programs and recommended funding levels for consideration.

March 26, 2015

Supporter of Senator Sanders’ budget amendment to the Older Americans Act

OWL has long been a supporter of the Older Americans Act. The budget amendment would create a deficit neutral reserve fund to support the programs funded by the Older Americans Act.

March 18, 2015

Letter to HHS regarding the FY16 Appropriations bill

As a member of the the AFib Optimal Treatment Task Force, OWL strongly urges the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and other relevant NIH agencies, institutes, and offices to provide technical assistance and otherwise support the national initiative to prevent falls in order to improve prevention of AFib-related stroke in older persons

March 12, 2015

Letter in support of the American Innovation Act

This legislation would take major steps toward closing the nation’s innovation deficit by significantly increasing investments in key federal science agencies and programs.These agencies and programs – the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, the Department of Defense’s science and technology programs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s scientific and technical research and services, and NASA’s science directorate – conduct vital research that is essential to the nation’s long-term economic growth and national security, as well as the quality of life of all Americans.

March 12, 2015

SSA Funding Letter to Budget Committees

As one of the organizations representing stakeholders of the Social Security Administration (SSA), OWL signed on to urge the budget committees to stop sequestration-level spending caps from taking effect in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and place a high priority on restoring adequate administrative funding for SSA operations as you develop an FY 2016 Budget Resolution.

February 25, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of the SAME Act

Once again, OWL signed on to support the passage of the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act, which would ensure all same-sex spouses receive equal treatment under the Social Security Act when applying for Social Security benefits, regardless of where they live.

February 24, 2015

Letter to Congress regarding FY16 HHS appropriations

As a member of the LEAD coalition, OWL joined other organizations in urging congressional appropriators to increase FY 2016 investments in dementia care, support and research.

February 20, 2015

Letter to Congress in support of the Healthy Families Act

OWL signed on in support of the Healthy Families Act, which would address the fact that more than 43 million people can’t take a single paid sick day without losing their jobs or sacrificing a day’s pay. This federal bill would make policies for paid sick days.


February 18, 2015

Letter to Congress thanking them for reauthorizing the Older Americans Act

OWL signed on to a thank-you letter which thanks the HELP Committee leaders and members for reporting the bill out of committee of S. 192 reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA).

January 28, 2015

Letter to HHS Secretary Burwell regarding the WHO Ministerial Meeting

Along with the LEAD Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter urging HHS Secretary Burwell to represent the United States at an upcoming international summit on dementia.

January 23, 2015

Letter to congress to inform the 21st Century Cures Initiative

As part of a group of organizations committed to advancing the health and economic security of older adults, OWL signed on to a letter to congress sharing input in an effort to inform the 21st Century Cures Initiative.

January 22, 2015

Letter to congress in support of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015

This legislation reauthorizes the Older Americans Act of 1965, a federal law with longstanding bipartisan support. The law provides for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to older Americans and their caregivers.This bill reauthorizes programs through 2018 and includes provisions that aim to protect vulnerable elders by strengthening the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and existing elder abuse screening and prevention efforts.

January 20, 2015

Letter to congress expressing concern regarding the proposed SSDI cuts

Joining other organizations from the LCAO, OWL wrote to express our deep concern over the inclusion of a provision in the House rules for the 114th Congress (H. Res. 5) that limits the House’s ability to consider the full range of options to protect benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program. Congress needs to act, as it has done many times in the past, to reallocate existing payroll taxes between Social Security’s DI and Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance (OASI) trust funds.

January 12, 2015

Letter to congress in support of the 21st Century Cures Initiative

OWL joined other members of the LCAO in writing to congress to urge the Initiative to incorporate an essential balance between innovation, accessibility and affordability as a foundation in any draft legislation. We expressed our desire to promote innovation and to ensure that new medicines, devices and other health care therapies are readily explored and made available to patients. We strongly believe that improved access to new treatments must be safe, effective and affordable for consumers.

January 12, 2015

Letter to NIH in support of a single IRB

As part of the LEAD Coalition, OWL joined member organizations in expressing support of the National Institutes of Health’s draft policy to promote the use of a single Institutional Review Board (single IRB) of record for domestic sites of multi-site studies funded by the NIH. We believe the single IRB policy is an important next step toward accelerated trials without compromising trial quality, ethical standards or – most important – research participant safety.

January 6, 2015

Letter to President Obama on SSDI funding in FY16 Budget

Through OWL’s work as a member of the Strengthen Social Security Steering Committee, we wrote to President Obama urging him to include a modest, temporary reallocation of part of Social Security’s 6.2% tax rate from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) fund to the DI fund to ensure that both funds are on an equal footing.This legislative proposal in his 2016 budget would maintain SSDI without cutting benefits.

December 19, 2014
I Am (Still) Essential letter to HHS Secretary Burwell
OWL became a part of a letter signed by 279 organizations to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell applauding the recently released Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016 which, once finalized, define Essential Health Benefits (EHB) for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in the future under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

December 11, 2014
Letter to HHS, DoL and SSA on the need to enhance notice and education for those nearing Medicare eligibility
OWL signed on as one of 44 organizations who represent the 54 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare for basic health and economic security. We all urged these organizations to work together to inform individuals approaching Medicare eligibility of their rights and obligations as they near enrollment.

December 1, 2014
Letter to Congress expressing support for the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act (S.1332/ H.R.2504)
The bill would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify Medicare eligibility for home health care, something they can already do for Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility care.

November 15, 2014
Letter to Social Security Administration Giving Priorities for Vision 2025
Members of the LCAO came together to ask SSA to keep accessibility, face-to-face interactions, fairness for vulnerable populations, and further research on wants and needs of the public at the forefront of their considerations for
Vision 2025.

November 12, 2014
Letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee Leadership regarding FY15 Budget Priorities
A member of the Elder Justice Coalition, a group with over 3,000 influential members, OWL signed on to a letter requesting: that the Labor-HHS appropriations bill be part of an omnibus bill rather than a year-long Continuing Resolution, that Congress support funding of at least $10 million for the Elder Justice Initiative for FY 2015 as included in the Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee bill, and that Congress support the existing funding level of $1.7 billion for the Social Services Block Grant for FY 2015.

November 10, 2014
Letter to Congress urging the passage of omnibus appropriations legislation for FY15
The Close the Innovation Deficit Campaign, which OWL is a part of, wrote to Congress to pass an omnibus appropriations bill that sets new funding priorities for the remainder of FY 2015. This legislation would result in increased investments in scientific research and higher education.

November 7, 2014
Letter to the Office of Management and Budget urging FY 2016 Administrative Funding for the Social Security Administration
Led by the National Council of Social Security Management Associations, OWL once again joined other Social Security Advocates in signing on to a letter stressing the importance of adequately funding the Social Security Administration in the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget.

November 5, 2014
Letter to the White House urging Social Security Disability Insurance Reallocation in the President’s FY16 Budget
OWL Policy Associate Amy Shannon assisted in drafting a letter for both the Strengthen Social Security Coalition and the Leadership Council on Aging, then signed on along with over 100 other organizations. This letter implored President Obama to reallocate Social Security Trust Funds in order to keep the SSDI program strong, instead of cutting Social Security benefits, as a part of his Fiscal Year 2016 Budget.


November 4, 2014
Letter to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in support of an Equal Pay Report
Along with other members of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, OWL wrote to express our strong support for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) proposal to collect pay data from federal contractors and subcontractors and incorporate it into the agency’s decisions about how to allocate its enforcement resources. This rule will enhance OFCCP’s ability to detect violations and improve its enforcement against pay discrimination.  .

October 29, 2014
Letter to Congress to support the confirmation of David Lopez and Charlotte Burrows at the EEOC
As a part of the Women’s Organization’s letter, OWL supported the congressional confirmation of nominees David Lopez as General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Charlotte Burrows as EEOC Commissioner. These nominees are well-respected and experienced champions of civil rights, and their confirmations are critical to the EEOC’s ability to carry out its vital work.

October 10, 2014
Letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission asking them to develop recommendations to improve the Medicare Part D appeals system
The Medicare Rights Center spearheaded this letter, which OWL signed on to with other consumer advocates, to ask MedPAC to take their appeals system analysis further given that new plan-reported data on pharmacy transactions and appeals has recently been made available by CMS. In addition, the letter expresses alarm at the recent findings of CMS audits and sanctions related to appeals. 

September 29, 2014
Letter to Social Security Administration Commissioner Colvin
Along with members of congress and over 104 organizations, OWL became a supporting organization urging SSA to ensure that same-sex couples receive the Social Security benefits they’ve earned.

August 18, 2014
Letter to companies with no women on their boards
OWL became a signatory to the letter organized by the Thirty Percent Coalition to approximately 80 companies within the Russell 1000 and S&P 500 with no women on their boards, urging them to take steps to embrace gender diversity.  Our goal is to insure that companies know investors and women’s organizations are carefully watching and aware of their status.

August 12, 2014
Letter to Rep. Langevin in support of two bills reauthorizing the Lifespan Respite Care Program
Initiated by the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center, OWL supported both the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2014 (HR 4683) and the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (H.R. 4892). The Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2014 (HR 4683) is a stand-alone, straight reauthorization of the Lifespan Respite Care Program, authorizing it through FY 2019 at $15 annually. The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act (S. 2243, HR 4892) expands eligibility and benefits for the Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, only veterans since 9/11 are eligible, but the bill would extend eligibility to veterans from all eras and enhance a broad array of benefits. The bill also reauthorizes the Lifespan Respite Care Program through FY 2019 at $15 million annually and makes explicit eligibility of veterans and their caregivers.

August 8, 2014
Letter to Congress in support of the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (S. 2552 + H.R. 4998)
Sponsored by the Medicare Rights Center, OWL joined many organizations in support of the act, which aims to protect beneficiaries from losing their doctors in the middle of the plan year and to improve the transparency of MA plans.

August 4, 2014
NWHM / H.R. 863/S. 398 Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women’s History Museum Act
OWL supported Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s legislation, which Requires zero taxpayer dollars to establish a commission to study the feasibility of a National Women’s History Museum on or near the National Mall.

July 22, 2014
Letter expressing support for the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act (S. 2552 and H.R. 4998)
This legislation would prohibit Medicare Advantage(MA) plans from dropping network providers in the middle of a plan year without cause, establish greater transparency on how MA plans establish their provider networks, and improve notice to beneficiaries and providers about altered plan networks. OWL signed on along with Medicare Rights Center, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, and NCPSSM.

July 21, 2014
Letter urging Congress to support passage of HR 863/S 398, legislation that establishes a commission to study the creation of a women’s history museum
As a member of the NWHM National Coalition, OWL has helped NWHM work for many years to secure a permanent home on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  We wrote a letter to Congress in support of legislation that would create a bipartisan commission to study and report recommendations to Congress regarding the museum’s governance, organizational structure, fundraising, operations and location.

July 18, 2014
Letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell asking her to look into 1) limited benefits; 2) high cost-sharing; and 3) transparency and uniformity
In this letter, OWL joined the Epilepsy Foundation, the AIDS Institute and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in asking the Secretary to enforce the ACA non-discrimination provisions, prohibit restrictive formularies and inadequate provider networks; address high cost-sharing, including inappropriate use of coinsurance; and improve plan transparency so that consumers can make informed decisions. 

July 18, 2014
Letter in support of Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s bill on nursing home staffing
OWL endorsed the bill saying that there should be a direct-care RN on duty at a nursing home 24 hours a day as opposed to the current federal requirement of 8 hours a day. 

July 16, 2014
Letter in support of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2014
OWL joined organizations committed to achieving health equity in writing to express our organizational support of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2014. The Act by providing federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities, with a focus on racial and ethnic minorities, and subpopulations that face additional barriers based on factors including, but not limited to, immigration status, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and English proficiency.

July 9, 2014
Letter to Congress in Support of the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act
As a member of the LEAD Coalition, OWL wrote in support of legislation that would give appropriators and Congress authority to break through the non-defense discretionary spending cap to strengthen NIH funding.

July 8, 2014
Endorsement of Caregiver Credit Bill
Rep. Lowey released the Caregiver Credit Bill which would provide an earnings credit within the Social Security benefit calculation, thereby increasing retirement income for those who have had to reduce their earnings in order to care for loved ones. OWL joined the Center for Community Change Action in this key opportunity to expand both Social Security and women’s economic security (since most caregivers are women).

July 2, 2014
Letter to the Senate in support of the Medicare Protection Act (S. 2491)
One of 69 members of the LCAO, OWL joined the coalition in writing to express our strong support for the Medicare Protection Act (S. 2491), and urging Congress to vote for this important legislation.

June 27, 2014
Statement highlighting the need for the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
OWL joined 75 NGOs calling for ratification of CEDAW, which strives to stem the tide of violence against women and girls across the globe.

June 26, 2014
Letter to the White House in support of 2015 Aging Conference
As part of the LEAD Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter that was sent to the director of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council offering support for a 2015 White House Conference on Aging with special attention to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

June 24, 2014
Letter to the SSA opposing field office service cuts
Members of the LCAO wrote to Acting Commissioner Colvin to express our ongoing concerns with the Social Security Administration plan to eliminate two frequently requested field office services – Social Security Number printouts and benefit verification letters.

June 24, 2014
Letter to Congress in support of H.R. 4879, the Research for All Act of 2014
OWL signed on to a letter to Congress, initiated by the Society for Women’s Health Research, to ensure data transparency and gender equity in NIH and FDA research, as well as safe and effective trials for expedited drug products.

June 23, 2014
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner at CMS addressing new procedural changes to Medicare Part D
OWL was one of 45 organizations that wrote to express our concern regarding the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ guidance for Medicare-certified hospices and Part D plan, which establishes a procedure to limit instances in which a Part D plan inappropriately covers prescription medications related to a hospice beneficiary’s terminal condition.

June 9, 2014
Letter to Congress on the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act
OWL signed on to a letter asking Congress to enhance Social Security benefits for children, divorced spouses, widows and widowers.

June 3, 2014
Letter to the Committee on Foreign Affairs requesting them to favorably report out House Resolution 489
Along with Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) Coalition, OWL called for the U.S. to lead a global response to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

June 2, 2014
Letter to Members of the House and Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittees
Led by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, OWL joined 21 other national organizations as part of the Senior Transportation Task Force to support FY-2015 funding for DOT programs impacting older adults.

May 7, 2014
Letter to Congress endorsing Supplemental Security Income Restoration Act of 2014 in the Senate
At the Select Committee on Aging’s hearing on senior poverty, Senators Warren and Brown introduced the SSI Restoration Act of 2014. As a part of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, OWL endorsed this bill, and its original version introduced in the House as HR 1601, which would update the income disregards to account for increases in the cost of living by raising the general income disregard from $20 to $110 and by raising the earned income disregard from the current $65 to $357.  It would also raise the resource limit from $2,000 to a more realistic $10,000, eliminate the in-kind support and maintenance provisions and repeal the punitive transfer penalty.

May 5, 2014
Letter to Congress endorsing the SAME Act
The SAME Act would ensure that all surviving spouses, regardless of where they live, receive equal treatment under the Social Security Act when applying for Social Security benefits.

April 15, 2014
Supporter, National Memory Screening Day
OWL again signed on as a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s National Memory Screening Day. This included spreading the word about the event and having OWL’s name and website link on supporting materials and on the event website. 

April 3, 2014
Letter calling on Congress to increase funding for VAWA and related programs
As a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, OWL joined the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women initiative to persuade Congress to increase funding for the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed last year.

March 25, 2014
Women’s Community Sign-On Letter to Congress in Support of the Fair Employment Protection Act
Over 20 organizations including OWL supported the National Partnership of Women and Families in urging Congress to pass the Fair Employment Protection Act. The Act promotes fairness in the workplace and helps prevent and combat all forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment.

March 24, 2014
Letter expressing support for Senator Wyden’s SGR replacement package (S. 2110) along with concern about the treatment of the Qualified Individual (QI) program
Along with organizations who share a commitment to advancing the health and economic security of older adults, people with disabilities and their families, OWL signed on to Medicare Rights Center’s letter to Congress. The letter expressed that the Sustainable Growth Rate formula is fundamentally flawed, and permanent changes to the Medicare reimbursement system are long overdue. Additionally, it detailed concern that the QI program, a benefit essential to the financial security of low-income beneficiaries, is not made permanent in the legislation.

March 19, 2014
Letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee members urging NIH funding in FY-2015 budget for Alzheimer’s disease research
As a member of the Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) Coalition, OWL signed on to a letter urging Congress to include $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the FY-2015 budget.  Of this amount, LEAD requested that Congress provide sufficient funding to support at least $200 million in additional Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders research to build upon the gains of recent years. LEAD also requested that Congress increase funding at the Administration for Community Living by $25 million for important caregiving and patient support programs.

March 4, 2014
National Women’s History Museum Lobby Day
OWL joined advocates in lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would give the National Women’s History Museum a home on the National Mall.

February 7, 2014
Letter to SSA Commissioner Colvin
As a member of the Social Security Steering Committee, convened through Social Security Works, OWL joined the committee in writing to express our concern that the Social Security Administration’s network of 1250 field offices may no longer provide Social Security Number printouts or benefit verification forms to the public, and urged the Commissioner that these changes not be implemented.

January 31, 2014
Letter to network news heads about the need to improve their representation of women on the Sunday morning political shows
Organized by Media Matters for America, OWL and numerous national organizations wrote to news outlets to express our concern regarding the overall lack of gender diversity on Sunday morning political talk shows throughout 2013. We urged these networks to improve their representation of women, and diversity in general, now and in the future.

January 16, 2014
Letters regarding funding for Medicare low-income beneficiaries outreach and enrollment activities in the SGR bill
OWL joined the Alliance for Retired Americans and others in urging members of the House Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce committees to make permanent funding for community-based organizations for outreach and enrollment activities for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, consistent with the bipartisan Senate Finance Committee SGR bill.

December 23, 2013
Senior Nutrition Program for Fiscal Year 2014
OWL joined Meals on Wheels, Vietnam Veterans of America, and 26 other organizations in urging the House and and Senate Appropriations Committees to restore the funding lost for Older American Act nutrition programs as a result of sequestration.
Click here to read the letter.

December 2013
Hyde Park OWL Addresses “End-of-Life Conversations”
In Chicago, OWL members encouraged women 40+ to engage in dialogue about end-of-life care. We promoted The Conversation Project’s Starter Kit, created by The Conversation Project and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

November 2013
Letter to protect and strengthen SNAP, SNAP-Ed CSFP, and TEFAP in the final farm bill conference report
OWL joined The National Council on Aging and others in calling on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other essential nutrition programs which were threatened by proposed funding cuts in the farm bill.
Click here to read the letter.

November 4, 2013
Partner, The Campaign to End Unwanted Medical Treatment
OWL recognizes the importance of honoring the healthcare choices of people at every stage of an illness. We joined others in calling for improvement in the quality of discussions between patients, healthcare providers, and families when it comes to end-of-life decisions.
Click here for the letter.

November 2013
OWL National Submits Policy Priorities to The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar wrote to the Senate expressing concern over the disconnect between what the American public supports and what policy makers have been willing to seriously consider. Brinegar emphasized the importance of our collaborator No Labels’ motto to ‘Stop Fighting. Start Fixing’.
Click here to read written remarks by Brinegar.

November 2013
Supporter, National Memory Screening Day (NMSD)
OWL was proud to be a promoter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s 11th annual National Memory Screening Day and to bring attention to the early detection of memory problems.

October 17, 2013
Pathways Back to Work Act (S 1383)
OWN joined the National Women’s Law Center, the Ms. Foundation of America, and 21 other organizations in expressing support for the Pathways Back to Work Act, which would provide low-income adults, many of whom are women, to gain the skills necessary to succeed in a global economy.
Click here to read the letter.

October 2013
Promoting Wise Activism for the Future
In her book, Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom, Mary Catherine Bateson redefines old age as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and challenges us to use aging as an opportunity to pursue new sources of meaning and ways to contribute to society. OWL promoted this book for its message of encouraging activism as an integral part of happy aging.

September 23, 2013
Supporter, National Voter Registration Day
In support of National Voter Registration Day, OWL encouraged all women 40+ to sign up to vote by giving them the resources and information to ease the process.

September 20, 2013
Letter urging the Committee on Energy & Commerce to convene a hearing this fall on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
OWL joined others in the Leaders Engaged in Alzheimer’s Disease (LEAD) Coalition in calling on members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to convene a hearing on Alzheimer’s disease pursuant to the goals of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (Public Law 111-375), which produced the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
Click here to read the letter.

September 17, 2013
Comment letter on the Fair Housing Act
Recognizing that, “where a person lives has a big impact on the trajectory of his or her life”, OWL joined The National Housing Alliance and other national organizations in submitting comments on HUD’s proposed regulations to implement the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing provisions of the Fair Housing Act.
Click here to read the letter.

August 27, 2013
OWL signed on in support of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force’s Draft Recommendations to Provide Low Dose CT Screening for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer in Certain High Risk Populations
Click here to read the letter.

August 15, 2013
OWL joined 100 Women Leaders advocating the nomination of Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve

June 10, 2013
OWL joined in a letter in support of the Positive Aging Act, which takes an important step toward improving access to quality mental and behavioral healthcare for older adults by integrating mental health services in primary care and community settings where older adults reside and receive services.

April 2013
OWL Joins the National Bone Health Alliance
OWL became one of 52 member organizations, along with liaisons representing the CDC, NASA, NIH, and the FDA, to form The National Bone Health Alliance,  a public-private partnership to improve the overall health and quality of life of all Americans by enhancing their bone health.

March 3, 2013
D.C. Suffrage Centennial Celebration March
As a part of National Women’s History Month, OWL joined women advocates in a March on Washington to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

December 10, 2012
Letter to Congress in support of bone density testing
In conjunction with The National Osteoporosis Foundation, OWL signed on to the letter in support of legislation which would ensure patient access to osteoporosis testing in physician’s offices by restoring reimbursement for this service.

November 7, 2012
Letter to the Office of Management and Budget requesting adequate funding for SSA operations be included in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget
In order to address an increasing number of critical service delivery issues, OWL, as one of the stakeholders of the Social Security Administration, requested a minimum of $12.3 billion for its FY 2014 administrative funding in order for SSA to meet its multitude of public service responsibilities.

November 1, 2012
Letter to Congressional Leadership opposing use of the chained CPI
In accordance with our role as guardian of Social Security, OWL signed on to a letter to Congressional Leadership opposing use of the “chained CPI” to calculate the annual cost of living adjustment.  The “chained CPI,” inaccurately characterized as a “technical adjustment,” will substantially reduce the current and future benefits of the constituencies we represent—seniors, veterans, the disabled, federal retirees, unions.

October 16, 2012
Letter to Congress opposing Chained CPI
An active member of Strengthen Social Security Coalition and avid guardian of Social Security benefits, OWL signed on to the letter urging Congress to oppose the Chained CPI.

May 9, 2012
Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies encouraging you support of the allocation of an additional $20.7 million for older adult falls prevention priorities through the CDC
The National Council on Aging, of which OWL is a member, respectfully requested that the Committee allocate an additional $20.7 million for the CDC in its Unintentional Injury Prevention account to allow the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) to comprehensively conduct necessary research and education programs that address the growing, large-scale growth of older adult falls. 

April 18, 2012
Letter to the Director of CMS advocating for Dual Eligible Principles
As a member of the LCAO and on behalf of over 1,000 members of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP), in support of the right of duals to have full choice in receiving care and avoiding any disruptions which could be caus