Duckworth, Casey & Hassan Secure $9 Billion for Home Community-Based Services in American Rescue Plan
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today announced the successful inclusion of more than $9 billion in dedicated emergency funding for State Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in the American Rescue Plan that passed the Senate today. HCBS are essential to assisting older Americans and people with disabilities, who receive critical healthcare and support services in their homes. The HCBS program is especially vital in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has tragically killed more than 500,000 Americans and disproportionately harmed individuals living in congregate care settings, who are at greater risk of exposure, severe illness and death from COVID-19.
“While I remain outraged by Senate Republicans’ year of refusal to prioritize direct emergency funding for critical Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services that literally save lives during this deadly pandemic, I am proud to have worked with Senators Casey and Hassan to secure more than $9 billion in the American Rescue Plan for these programs that empower Americans with disabilities and older Americans to receive care at home,” said Senator Duckworth. “This is a long overdue, but welcome, sign of change showing our new Democratic Senate Majority was willing to prioritize this funding during a public health emergency that has inflicted a devastating toll on nursing homes and long-term care settings—which account for over a third of pandemic deaths nationwide. I will keep working to support these programs and help all Americans stay safe and make it to the other side of this awful pandemic.”
“I am pleased that my colleagues Senators Duckworth, Hassan and I secured critical HCBS relief funding as part of the American Rescue Plan so that seniors and people with disabilities, who are more at-risk to this deadly virus, can receive the care and services they need to safely remain at home and reduce the need to move into congregate settings. This funding will also support the heroic workers who have spent the last year on the front-lines of this crisis,” said Senator Casey.
“Home and community-based services provide lifesaving care to older Americans and individuals with disabilities, and these services are even more vital amid this devastating pandemic,” Senator Hassan said. “Many home and community-based services are in danger of collapsing without immediate federal support, but the federal dollars we helped secure will strengthen and expand this critical program. This relief will help provide some of our most vulnerable with the care that they need, and I will continue working to make sure these dollars get out the door as quickly as possible.”
The inclusion of this funding in the American Rescue Plan is a huge step forward for the disability community, which has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while being unjustly denied critical support by Senate Republican leadership last Congress. Senate Republicans’ failure to provide dedicated emergency funding to Medicaid HCBS programs threatened to force families to further institutionalize individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, despite the incredibly high risk of serious illness and death associated with living in a congregate care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding secured today by Duckworth, Casey and Hassan will allow state Medicaid programs to expand access to vital services and appropriately support the providers and workers who deliver essential care.
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