On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives briefly returned from summer recess to approve the Senate-passed budget resolution. Committees in both chambers are working to draft bill language by September 15.
This process represents an historic opportunity to improve health care access and affordability. In addition to much-needed Medicare reforms, like lowering prescription drug costs and filling gaps in coverage, the budget resolution supports additional funding for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) that help older adults and people with disabilities remain in their homes, stay active in their communities, and lead independent lives.
Medicaid HCBS is a lifeline for millions of Americans, but due in part to chronic underfunding, many who need these services are unable to access them. First called for by President Biden in the American Jobs Plan and later detailed in the Better Care Better Jobs Act (S. 2210/H.R. 4131), the $400 billion investment outlined in the budget resolution would allow the program to better meet current and future needs.
Specifically, led by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the Better Care Better Jobs Act would “expand home and community-based services for more than 3.2 million Americans, help more than 1.1 million family caregivers return to work, and create more than half a million new home care jobs…It would also raise wages and increase benefits for home care workers, most of whom are low-income women of color who earn a median wage of just $12 per hour, and bolster our Nation’s economy.” New fact sheets from Senator Casey explain the national and state-specific impacts of these reforms.
While these are important steps, there is more work to do. Final decisions about what will be in the reconciliation bill have not yet been made. We need your help to ensure that lawmakers prioritize the Better Care Better Jobs Act, along with key Medicare advancements, for inclusion in the package. With draft legislation expected in mid-September, now is the time to make your voice heard.
Learn More about the Better Care Better Jobs Act and weigh in today!
Sign up to receive Medicare news, policy developments, and other useful updates from the Medicare Rights.