« PreviousContinue »
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
January 27, 1961. Hon. LISTER HILL, Chairman, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have the honor of submitting to you the second report of the Subcommittee on Problems of the Aged and Aging, in accordance with Senate Resolution 266, adopted March 24, 1960, authorizing the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare tó “examine, investigate and make a complete study of * * * the problems of the aging."
The present report summarizes the work of the subcommittee in translating studies and reports into legislative action and sets forth the results of subcommittee studies in a number of areas not covered in its first report. A brief outline of the areas covered follows:
(1) A summary of the bills introduced by members of the subcommittee in 1960, their disposition and our recommendations for their consideration in 1961.
(2) A detailed, updated analysis of the facts relating to medical insurance for all retired aged-our No. 1 legislative objective.
(3) A careful presentation of the latest data on income and assets of older persons.
(4) A statement of the need for a major investment in research in the field of aging as our best hope of further lengthening productive life and preventing deterioration. This was based in part on 2 days of a seminar-type discussion with some of the Nation's best researchers in the medical-biological and social sciences.
(5) An analysis of ways and means to make life in retirement productive and enjoyable in an age when 12 million people over 65 are no longer employed at all and the figure can be expected to rise to 20 million in the next generation.
(6) An evaluation of how well the Federal Government is organized to meet the problems of an increasingly aging population.
One of the crucial lessons we have learned is that the problems of older persons are not contained within a narrow subject-matter compass, but cut across most of the areas of governmental and legislative responsibility. The nature of the problem, today, its future growth and complexity, and its interrelationships are of such importance that we have recommended the creation of a Special Committee of the Senate on Aging for a coordinated view of the total problem.
I want to express my appreciation of your excellent cooperation and that of your staff members in the work of this subcommittee. It was of immense assistance in the preparation of our hearings, studies, seminars and of this report. Sincerely,
Pat McNAMARA, Chairman, Subcommittee on Problems of the Aged and Aging.
Text of bills.
List of references to bills on a bureau of older persons.
Mr. McNAMARA, from the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare,
submitted the following
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS “The status of the individual must remain our primary concern.' So begins the report of the President's Commission on National Goals, published in late 1960. The gradual but revolutionary changes in the age structure of our population make this principle more important than ever-especially to our senior citizens.
We have created a society in which most individuals survive well beyond the years they spend in gainful livelihood, and continue to contribute to the progress of their local communities and their Nation as a whole. Our changing population pattern dramatically reveals more and more persons living to see their own children become grandparents. In only a brief 10 years, since 1950, we have witnessed an increase by 1 million in the number of women who have become elderly widows, with no increase in the number of men who have become elderly widowers. Every sign on the superhighways of modern medical science points to further gains in longevity for elderly individuals at the older ages. When we contemplate these and other trends it should be no wonder that the primary concern of this subcommittee not only is with the status of the individual who today is designated as "old" but also with the status of the individual who tomorrow, or the next day, or next year, will bear that label.
The subcommittee's 1960 report and this present report of 1961 both contain extensive inforination on the status of America's older men and women-a status which for the most part corresponds neither with their desires or needs. Nor do they correspond with the goals and ideals which we have established for ourselves as a prosperous, compassionate people.
The recommendations flowing from these two reports signify a major effort on the part of the Congress to establish a coordinated series of actions and programs aimed at correcting and improving the