The senior care and living sector has been pushing their agenda for caregiver infrastructure that would benefit seniors and caregivers as legislative committees examine how to distribute the $3.5 trillion approved by the House earlier this week in the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution.
There is at stake investment in-home- and community-based services, affordable housing, and workforce development for aging services.
Congress should remember older adults and caregivers while drafting legislation, said the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.
According to AHCA / NCAL, residents and staff of long-term care facilities must remain at the forefront of future discussions. A global pandemic still rages while the long-term care sector deals with rising costs and a recession. Legislators should invest in the frontline caregivers who care for our most vulnerable.”
President Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan and $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, as well as $400 billion to expand home- and community-based services, may be included in the $3.5 trillion plan.
A briefing on Wednesday by Argentum Advocates featured Dan Samson, Director of Government Relations at Argentum. Several factors are at play.
In the proposed Better Care Better Jobs Act that would implement the American Jobs Plan, Argumentum and LeadingAge strongly advocate for $400 billion in Medicaid HCBS investment. Before May, the federal government had only talked about nursing homes as a provider of HCBS; now, it’s dealing with assisted living as well.
By investing in this program, HCBS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be connected, and affordable housing units would be built. New models of care for older adults in the community would be implemented.
Medicaid covers one in six daily life care needs of assisted living residents, according to the NCAL. A waitlist of more than 820,000 Americans awaits eligibility and benefits for Medicaid HCBS.
Samson stated that two million seniors live in senior living communities. He is advocating and educating legislators about and are using ‘home’ as a symbol to emphasize the benefits of HCBS.”
Due to providing supportive housing for the elderly, a LeadingAge priority will receive an investment of $7.5 billion. Through this investment, more affordable senior housing would be available, more service coordinators would be available, and retrofitted buildings would be age-friendly, as well as providing internet in HUD-assisted homes.
A White House staff member and HUD Secretary Marsha Fudge reiterated at a meeting on Tuesday their support for affordable housing, especially for the elderly.
The president of American Seniors Housing, David Schless, said ASHA is committed to securing a Phase 4 allocation from the Provider Relief Fund. Still, the group supports some aspects of the budget resolution package.
According to Schless, elements in the budget resolution package are supported if they are helpful to seniors, including enhancements to Medicaid and Medicare long-term services and supports that would allow low-income seniors to benefit from assisted living. However, there were some concerns about potential changes in the tax code that could stop economic growth and cause seniors not to get the benefits of a senior living community.
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