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PUBLIC POLICY


safeguard residents and protect consumers, policymakers identifi ed some shortcomings. As legislative eff orts to address the issue


Advocates Argentum For You


By Dan Samson Director, Government Relations Argentum


A new set of rules for Florida’s continuing


care retirement communities (CCRCs) took eff ect January 1. But thanks to strong indus- try voices, the results are in the best interests of residents and the industry. Argentum and a dedicated committee


of our member providers led an extensive multi-year advocacy campaign on this bill, working with coalitions, funding a political action committee, continuously working with lawmakers, and compromising when needed to ensure that the final legisla- tive package was balanced and would be eff ective. The action began in 2016 after a commu-


nity in Tampa wasn’t operating according to law and fell into bankruptcy—and as a re- sult jeopardized the fi nances of its residents. Florida’s Offi ce of Insurance Regulation and Agency for Health Care Administra- tion share oversight over CCRC contracts, which are considered an insurance product under Florida law. While these departments have considerable regulatory framework to


REGISTER TODAY


2020 Argentum Public Policy Institute & Fly-In


The annual Argentum Public Policy Institute & Fly-In allows for industry professionals to discuss issues and solutions to the most important legislative and regulatory challenges at the state and federal levels, and advocate for critical senior living issues on Capitol Hill.


JOIN US IN WASHINGTON, DC | MARCH 17-18, 2020


Learn more at argentum.org/ppi This event is a complimentary benefi t of membership.


44 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 KEYNOTE SPEAKER


Jim VandeHei Co-founder & CEO of Axios Co-founder & former CEO of POLITICO


got under way in 2018, Argentum and our CCRC members immediately began work- ing with lawmakers to ensure newly crafted legislation would not negatively impact communities or their residents. Our input helped craft an improved bill,


one that provides more transparency for consumers through additional disclosures to current and prospective residents, and grants regulators additional oversight to help troubled communities and protect the fi nancial interest of residents. Commu- nity operators also benefi t through more streamlined applications for licensure and acquisition. In June 2019, this version of HB 1033


was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.


No overnight successes The success was possible through an in- formed, engaged, and activated member- ship, along with the resources to support these eff orts. Argentum’s Advocacy Fund helped to defray some of the costs of the initiative, but the real force was the time put in by members, to read and comment on numerous versions of the legislation and to meet with legislators and regulators to edu- cate them about CCRCs. The takeaway: Public policy successes


do not typically happen overnight. They require years of behind-the-scenes eff ort: establishing relationships with lawmakers, introducing the importance of our work, educating on the challenges facing our


industry, and guiding toward policy solu- tions—or, more often than not, away from proposals with unintended consequences for residents and the industry. On the federal level, Argentum saw re- cent successes just last month, as several of our legislative priorities signed into law: • Extending the reduced threshold for the medical expense deduction


• Increasing the minimum age for manda- tory fund withdrawals from retirement accounts


• Providing $350 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s research.


What drives the action Behind each of these successes is years of continued advocacy by Argentum members and staff to educate lawmakers on the issues and keep them in focus, so that when the opportunity arose, lawmakers would re- member our priorities and why they matter. One of those powerful behind-the-scenes


resources is Silver PAC (argentum.org/sil- verpac), a non-partisan fund to support law- makers who share our goals of increasing access to and aff ordability of quality senior living services. Silver PAC allows Argentum to meet with elected offi cials face-to-face, educate them on our issues, and share mem- bers’ compelling stories. Another of those resources is you. The


Argentum Public Policy Institute & Fly- In, held this March 17-18, is a chance to establish relationships with elected offi cials and directly advocate for policies that help ensure senior living communities continue to provide quality—into the next decade.


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