Argentum Hosts Senior Living Professionals and Partners at Annual Public Policy Institute
April 2, 2019
The annual Argentum Public Policy Institute & Fly-In was held March 5-6 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The event provided attendees with the opportunity to learn about Argentum’s public policy priorities from industry experts and distinguished guests while becoming a more effective advocate.
The sessions at the Public Policy Institute on March 5 highlighted the following legislative priorities:
In the Workforce Development: Where Policy Meets Practice session, moderated and led by former assistant labor secretary, Emily DeRocco, the conversation explored and identified various recruitment 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 increasingly financially unprepared for retirement, 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 & education policy, ML Strategies, and former policy director for the Senate HELP Committee. Garner outlined the legislative 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 benefit-based system to recipients based upon their disability. Although it was later repealed, it serves as an important case study of how to produce creative solutions for the growing crisis.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 affairs, Direct Supply, reviewed the impact that federal regulation has had on the skilled nursing industry. Much of the conversation focused on the importance of sustaining 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 firm Tripp Umbach. Although the data was preliminary, it highlighted the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of the senior living industry. The findings are an essential element 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:
Supporting the state regulatory model: maintaining regulatory oversight of the industry in the states
Retirement security crisis: 1 in 3 Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement let alone long-term care services and supports
Workforce development: finding and retaining a qualified workforce to care for 1.4 million seniors by 2025
During their meetings, advocates educated members of Congress and their staffs about the industry at the federal and state levels. Though some were more familiar with the industry than others, this served as an opportunity to serve as a resource to them. We look forward to strengthening relationships with all offices regardless of their familiarity, committee, or seniority. Thanks to all who joined us—and we hope to see you in 2020!
See more photos from the 2019 Public Policy Institute & Fly-In