WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Special Committee on Aging, helped introduce the Stamp Out Elder Abuse Act (S.1784) alongside Aging Committee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME). This legislation would direct the United States Postal Service (USPS) to develop a semi-postal stamp and use the proceeds from its sales to provide funding to elder justice initiatives at both the Administration on Aging (AOA), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Elder abuse is a serious issue that has devastating and far-reaching consequences for our communities,” said Senator Rosen. “This legislation would assist funding efforts to stop elder abuse, which would help give our seniors the peace of mind and safety they deserve. I will continue to support legislation that prioritizes the interests of our seniors.”
BACKGROUND: According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans age 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse, which can include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as confinement, neglect, and financial exploitation.
In 2018, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Aging and Disability Services Division reported 8955 cases of elder abuse in the state.
Last year, the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline received more than 1,500 calls reporting fraud targeting seniors, with the most frequent calls coming from seniors who were contacted by fraudsters posing as IRS agents and accusing the seniors of owing back taxes and penalties. It is estimated that nationwide scams targeting seniors add up to nearly $3 billion each year.
Senator Rosen has been active in working to combat abusive behavior against seniors. Last Congress, while in the House of Representatives, then-Congresswoman Rosen supported the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act (H.R. 444), which would establish an effective consumer complaint system at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), that would require FTC to coordinate with other agencies to monitor the market for fraud schemes targeting seniors, distribute information materials to seniors and their families explaining the process for contacting law enforcement, and establish a new reporting system to help seniors.
Last Congress, then-Congresswoman Rosen also supported the Fighting Medicare Fraud Act (H.R. 5757), which closes a loophole in current law that allows CEOs of companies that have committed Medicare fraud to start a new health care company (and potentially commit fraud again) if he or she resigns before the first company is criminally penalized.