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New Home- and Community-based Services Bill, Pres. Biden Renewed Support for Care Economy Reflect Growing Momentum for Better Jobs for Care Workers and Better Care for Elders and People With Disabilities
Statement from Caring Across Generations and National Domestic Workers Alliance
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2021)—Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Casey, Senator Wyden, Senator Murray and Representatives Dingell and Pallone, along with other members of Congress introduced legislation in the Senate and the House with widespread support yesterday that aims to expand long-term care options, strengthen the care workforce, and better support caregivers.
The Better Care Better Jobs Act would expand access to Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS), meeting the needs of the over 800,000 people currently on waitlists for services such as respite care, while also improving wages and supporting stronger benefits for the direct care workforce. The bill comes in the midst of negotiations between the White House and Congress on a physical infrastructure proposal. President Biden reiterated that any deal that invests in traditional infrastructure—roads, bridges and broadband—must be accompanied by legislation that will meet the comprehensive recommendations of the American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan, including investments in the care infrastructure, such as home and community-based services, child care and paid leave.
The president’s continued commitment to a caring economy and the introduction of the Better Care Better Jobs Act reflect the growing momentum in the fight for dignified care for all, according to caregiver and care worker advocacy groups.
Below is a statement by Ai-jen Poo, director of Caring Across Generations and executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.
“There’s tremendous momentum to build our care infrastructure, both to expand access to the critical care millions of Americans depend on, and invest in the essential workforce who provide these services. An overwhelming majority (88 percent) of Americans want to live and age in their own homes and communities, rather than in a nursing facility, and bipartisan majorities of voters support the Biden Administration’s proposed investment in home and community-based services (HCBS) in the American Jobs Plan. The new legislation from Leader Schumer, Senators Casey, Wyden and Murray, and Representatives Dingell and Pallone will help realize the promise of President Biden’s plans.
“President Biden’s plans to invest in the physical and human infrastructure at the foundation of our economy are critical to achieving an equitable and lasting economic recovery. Investing $400 billion in HCBS would create an estimated 1.1 million jobs and add an estimated $40 billion a year in new income. Congress must seize this unprecedented opportunity to make care jobs good jobs, and provide critical support to millions of American families who rely on HCBS.”
Caring Across Generations is a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities, and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country. By harnessing the power of online and grassroots organizing and culture change work, we are shifting how our nation values caregiving and calling for policy solutions that enable all of us to live well and age with dignity. Learn more at http://caringacross.org.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. NDWA has created Alia, an online platform to help domestic workers access benefits, not otherwise granted to them, in addition to introducing a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights with now-Vice President Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal in 2019. Learn more at www.domesticworkers.org.