Last week, HCAOA CEO Vicki Hoak attended the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on “Uplifting Families, Workers, and Older Adults: Supporting Communities of Care,” where Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the HCBS Access Act, cosponsored by 16 other U.S. Senators. The Act was introduced as a complementary bill to the Better Care Better Jobs Act (S. 100) introduced by Casey and 39 co-sponsors in January.
According to Casey, “The Better Care Better Jobs Act is designed to invest in a HCBS provider infrastructure for the recruitment and retention of workers. The [HCBS Access Act] establishes a permanent funding stream to keep the infrastructure strong and make sure we’re able to continue to pay direct care professionals at a rate the ensures qualified, reliable services and a qualified, reliable workforce into the future.”
At the hearing, Senator Casey shared recent findings about home care from a new report released by ANCOR and United Cerebral Palsy:
“It is time we make the smart economic choice for the country, to help our families, to invest in our families, to invest in caregivers and strengthen this workforce by making a generational investment in home care services,” Casey said at the hearing.
He continued, “We need to ensure that families have a real choice when it comes to the supports and services that their loved ones need. So that’s why today, I will be introducing the HCBS Access Act, so that everyone eligible for Medicaid long-term care services and supports will have the ability to choose home-based care and remain in their communities without fear of being put on a long waiting list.”
The HCBS Access Act is designed to ensure eligible older adults and people with disabilities have the ability to choose between home care and institutional care. The bill would, over time, help eliminate HCBS waiting lists and the need for states to repeatedly apply for HCBS waivers. More specifically, the bill would:
HCAOA will continue to keep members updated on the status of these bills.