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The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging was initially established in 1961 as a temporary committee; it became a permanent Senate committee in 1977. As a special committee, it has no legislative authority, but it studies issues related to older Americans, particularly Medicare and Social Security.
Prior to the passage of Medicare, the committee was studying health care insurance coverage for elderly American citizens. The committee conducts oversight of the Medicare program, Social Security and the Older Americans Act. Some of the issues that have been examined by the committee include unacceptable conditions in nursing homes, protection from age discrimination, and pricing practices for prescription drugs.
Members, 116th Congress
- Patrick V. McNamara (D-MI), 1961–1963
- George Smathers (D-FL), 1963–1967
- Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ), 1967–1971
- Frank Church (D-ID), 1971–1979
- Lawton Chiles (D-FL) 1979-1981
- H. John Heinz III (R-PA), 1981–1987
- John Melcher (D-MT), 1987–1989
- David Pryor (D-AR), 1989–1995
- William Cohen (R-ME), 1995–1997
- Charles Grassley (R-IA), 1997–2001
- John Breaux (D-LA), 2001
- Larry Craig (R-ID), 2001
- John Breaux (D-LA), 2001–2003
- Larry Craig (R-ID), 2003–2005
- Gordon Smith (R-OR), 2005–2007
- Herb Kohl (D-WI), 2007–2013
- Bill Nelson (D-FL), 2013–2015
- Susan Collins (R-ME), 2015–present
- "About the Aging Committee". U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Archived from the original on January 31, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2005.
- Pursuant to S.Res. 7 John Breaux served as chairman from January 3, 2001 until noon on January 20, 2001. Larry Craig served as chairman from noon on January 20, 2001 until June 6, 2001.
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