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PUBLIC POLICY


Advocates Argentum For You


Argentum Hosts Senior Living Professionals and Partners at Annual Public Policy Institute The annual Argentum Public Policy Institute & Fly-In was held March 5-6 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The event provided at- tendees with the opportunity to learn about Argentum’s public policy priorities from in- dustry experts and distinguished guests while becoming a more eff ective advocate. The sessions at the Public Policy Institute


on March 5 highlighted the following legis- lative priorities: • In the Workforce Development: Where Policy Meets Practice session, moderated and led by former assistant labor secre- tary, Emily DeRocco, the conversation explored and identifi ed various recruit- ment opportunities to grow the senior living workforce, including the viability of apprenticeships and other training that could be utilized to address the need for the 1.4 million workers who will need to be recruited into the industry by 2025.


• As more and more Americans are increas- ingly fi nancially unprepared for retire- ment, navigating the retirement crisis has become an area of focus for Argentum. The Navigating the Retirement Security Crisis session was led by Connie Garner, vice president for disability policy & edu- cation policy, ML Strategies, and former policy director for the Senate HELP Committee. Garner outlined the legis- lative process around The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act). A key priority of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, it would have established a long-term care insurance option for employees and in-turn created a benefi t-based system to recipients based upon their disability. Although it was later repealed, it serves as an important case


62 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE MARCH/APRIL 2019 NRC Health’s Rich Kortum and Kyle Benesch with Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE)


study of how to produce creative solutions for the growing crisis.


• During the Avoiding the Road to Federal Regulation session, Chris Winkle, CEO, Sunrise Senior Living, and Genevieve Hillis, director of government aff airs, Direct Supply, reviewed the impact that federal regulation has had on the skilled nursing industry. Much of the conversa- tion focused on the importance of sus- taining the current state regulatory model and working with legislators at both levels to educate them about the industry.


• The feature presentation, Senior Living Impact: Know Your Worth, was delivered by Carrie Kennedy, senior principal at consulting fi rm Tripp Umbach. Al- though the data was preliminary, it high- lighted the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of the senior living industry. The fi ndings are an essential el- ement to be utilized during the advocacy process when emphasizing the economic and community impact by the industry and its employees.


Argentum advocates also participated in nearly 50 meetings with legislators and their staff on Capitol Hill during the Argentum Fly-In, highlighting three of Argentum’s advocacy priorities: 1. Supporting the state regulatory model: maintaining regulatory oversight of the industry in the states


2. Retirement security crisis: 1 in 3 Amer- icans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement let alone long-term care ser- vices and supports


3. Workforce development: fi nding and re- taining a qualifi ed workforce to care for 1.4 million seniors by 2025 During their meetings, advocates educated members of Congress and their staff s about the industry at the federal and state levels. Though some were more familiar with the industry than others, this served as an op- portunity to serve as a resource to them. We look forward to strengthening relationships with all offi ces regardless of their familiarity, committee, or seniority. Thanks to all who joined us—and we hope to see you in 2020!


DURING THE ARGENTUM FLY-IN ON MARCH 6, ADVOCATES MET PERSONALLY WITH THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:


• Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) • Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)


• Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) • Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) • Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)


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