June 30, 2021
Washington, DC — Last week, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act, which would vastly expand Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). The legislation forms the basis of President Biden’s $400 billion commitment to expand access to HCBS and raise the wages of direct support professionals in his American Jobs Plan.
Traditional insurance and Medicare does not pay for long-term care, such as nursing home care and assistance at home with "activities of daily living" such as bathing, feeding, and getting out of bed. Medicaid acts as the primary payor for these services, but mandates nursing home coverage. Services at home and in the community – HCBS – remain optional under the program. As a result, far too many seniors and people with disabilities are forced into nursing homes when they could otherwise receive care at home.
“COVID-19 has laid bare the crisis in America’s nursing homes. This legislation would be an unprecedented step towards ensuring every American has the ability to age in place,” said NAELA President Letha Sgritta McDowell, CELA, CAP.
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.
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