July 20, 2021 Advocacy Alert



Call Congress TODAY to Protect
Critical HCBS & Workforce Funding!


July 20, 2021

As widely reported, President Biden has proposed a $400 billion investment in Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) and the direct care workforce that provides those critical supports to older adults and people with disabilities in communities across the country. Recently, Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to make the idea a reality, the Better Job Better Cares Act (BJBCA), which has the support of 40 of the 50 Democratic Senators. While n4a has some changes we’d like to see made, we wholeheartedly support investing in Medicaid HCBS and the direct care workforce.
 
That’s why we’re concerned by reports that, in order to make way for other priorities, some Democrats are pushing back on including the entire $400 billion in their upcoming reconciliation package of various investments. (No Republicans are currently publicly in support of this proposal or the larger Democratic package.) Older adults and people with disabilities can’t afford to have long-term care overlooked again. Our nation’s aging population needs more HCBS options and our country needs a stronger direct care workforce.
 
So, even though n4a hasn’t yet formally endorsed BJBCA, we need to take action NOW or there won’t be a bill left to improve and advance!
 
BJBCA builds on the President’s bold American Jobs Plan, seeking to invest in critical HCBS that enable older adults and people with disabilities to live and age independently, safely and with dignity in their own homes. With an approximately $400 billion investment in the nation’s care infrastructure, BJBCA seeks to financially incentivize states to:
  • strengthen and expand their HCBS workforces;
  • strengthen and expand consumers’ access to HCBS; and
  • facilitate state planning to develop HCBS infrastructure improvement plans.
The bill also permanently authorizes protection against impoverishment for individuals whose spouses received Medicaid HCBS and permanently authorizes the Medicaid Money Follows the Person program to support individuals transitioning from institutions to home or community-based settings.
 

Action Requested
 
Call your lawmakers and urge them to support the full $400 billion proposed by President Biden for Medicaid HCBS and the direct care workforce! The pandemic was a devastating event that shone a spotlight on the severe shortage of HCBS and direct care workers for older adults. Now is NOT the time to move backwards. Ask your Senators and Representatives for their support and be sure to share a local story about the importance of HCBS and the direct care workforce in your community.
 
The Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) can connect you to your delegation’s DC offices or you can look up their websites to send emails via www.house.gov or www.senate.gov.
 
What’s most important is that you take action TODAY! Time is of the essence to prevent this critical priority from being left on the negotiating room floor!
 
Sample talking points: “Please do what you can to ensure that President Biden’s $400 billion investment in Medicaid home and community-based services and the workforce that provides those supports is taken up by Congress this summer! These services are much needed in my community and, when available, they help the older adults we serve stay out of nursing homes, which saves taxpayer dollars and allows people to remain in their homes as they age. It’s critical that these Medicaid home and community-based services and support for the direct care workforce are included in the reconciliation package with full funding. Thank you for your support.”
 
Stay tuned for more updates from n4a and, as always, we thank you for your advocacy!

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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Monica Billger at mbillger@n4a.org and Amy Gotwals at agotwals@n4a.org.