House Passes Bill That Will Provide Veterans with Additional Access to PACE; NPA Urges Swift Senate Passage

Posted on: December 5, 2023
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WASHINGTON, DC – On the second anniversary of the passing of Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), the National PACE Association (NPA) praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act (H.R. 542) by a vote of 414-5, which will give veterans increased access to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) across the nation. NPA urges the Senate to pass the bill soon so more veterans can enjoy the highest quality of life possible as they age by receiving any care needed at home or in the community.

The legislation would establish formal partnerships between PACE programs and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) in their service areas. This policy change would broadly increase access for veterans to the innovative PACE model of care so they can continue to live at home, despite needing a nursing home level of care.

NPA commended the bill sponsor, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health, for her strong and tireless leadership on the important legislation, as well as lead co-sponsor Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1), Committee on Veterans’ Affairs chair Mike Bost (R-IL-12), and ranking member Mark Takano (D-CA-39) for their efforts to help more veterans receive needed care at home and in the community.

“NPA applauds the definitive action of the House to dramatically increase the ability of veterans to enroll in PACE through their VA benefits,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of NPA. "We are pleased Congress has recognized that older veterans with VA health benefits should have the same access to home and community-based services, such as PACE, as other seniors." 

Rep. Brownley added, “I have spoken with countless veterans and their loved ones. Based on my experience, one thing is very clear: Almost every veteran would prefer to age at home rather than in a facility. However, for many veterans, doing so requires certain clinical support that can be prohibitively expensive if not covered by the VA. H.R. 542 would help relieve this heartache and give families access to programs that will help veterans stay in their homes and receive the care they need, the care that they have earned, and the care that they deserve.”

“As studies show and as many of the older veterans throughout our nation will attest, care in home settings is often preferable to care in a clinical facility,“ said Rep. Bergman. "This is especially true for those disabled and elderly veterans living in rural and remote communities like Michigan’s First Congressional District. The Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act recognizes this reality, and I’m proud to join Rep. Brownley to comprehensively expand access, options and programs for these veterans who deserve care in the comfort of their home."

“I’m thrilled by the passage of the Dole Act, which is named after a woman who has made huge strides in her lifetime to improve the lives of our veterans and their caregivers, Sen. Elizabeth Dole" said Rep. Bost. "H.R. 542 will do just that by making drastic improvements to VA’s home and community-based services for our elderly veteran community. The enhancements the Dole Act would create will allow veterans to 'age-in-place' in the comfort of their homes, rather than in long-term care facilities. Having served our nation in uniform, these men and women deserve to make the call on how they want to spend their sunset years. I know that this bill will improve the quality of life for many of our veterans and look forward to working with the Senate to enact it as part of a larger package of veterans legislation.”

"This important legislation will enable veterans to remain at home, safely age in place, and avoid or delay admission to nursing homes and other costly institutional settings of care," said Rep. Takano. "It is supported by every major VSO and partners like the National PACE Association. I thank and applaud Congresswoman Brownley for her efforts on crafting this bill and getting it over this first hurdle."

“There is a substantial, documented and mutually beneficial history regarding the use of PACE by certain eligible veterans,” NPA testified last year in support of the bill. “The PACE model of care was proven by the VA to have significant value in terms of outcomes and costs. Veterans were able to remain living safely in their homes, where they wanted to be, leading to increased veteran and family satisfaction. The quality of care and coordination with the VA were outstanding, and the cost of PACE care to the VA was less than a nursing home placement.”

"Our nation has a duty to our veterans to provide them with the best care possible through their VA health benefits, and PACE is proven to provide high-quality care and reduce caregiver burden while being cost-efficient," said Bloom. "NPA’s member PACE organizations always have been proud to serve veterans and are eager help more receive needed care in their preferred setting – their homes and communities.”

The National PACE Association (NPA) works to advance the efforts of PACE programs, which coordinate and provide preventive, primary, acute and long-term care services so older individuals can continue living in the community. The PACE model of care is centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. For more information, visit and follow @TweetNPA.