Congressional Task Force Spearheads HCBS Recommendations

Legislation | April 15, 2021 | by Andrea Price-Carter

Members of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families (TFAF) recently announced their support for President Biden’s infrastructure plan, the American Jobs Plan, which calls on Congress to put $400 billion toward expanding access to Medicaid coverage of home and community-based services (HCBS) for aging individuals and people with disabilities.  

The plan also provides support for building a state infrastructure to improve the quality of services that support caregivers, which includes offering caregiving and essential home care workers a living wage, benefits and the ability to collectively bargain.

“Our nation is truly in a crisis of long-term care, as anyone who has had to help care for a loved one knows all too well. Our caregivers are in a crisis as well, which the pandemic has laid bare. They are predominantly women and women of color who too often struggle to make ends meet while caring for our nation's elders and those with disabilities” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Chair of the Task Force on Aging and Families, said in a statement. Chairman Jeffries has indicated the Task Force will be a voice within Congress for elevating the President’s plan and translating the HCBS-related recommendations into policy.

Several members of the Task Force also welcomed the opportunity to review the LeadingAge Blueprint for a Better Aging Infrastructure. The Blueprint offers a series of recommendations that address the economic, social, and racial inequities older Americans face by expanding access to long-term care at home and in our communities and the fundamental need to better support and grow our aging services workforce.

Additionally, last month, the Task Force on Aging and Families Vice Chairs – Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – led efforts of sending a letter signed by 108 members of Congress, to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reiterating the importance of including HCBS in the” Build Back Better” infrastructure package. A copy of the letter can be found here.