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Capitol Correspondence - 02.23.21

23 Senators Call on Senate Leadership to Support Temporary FMAP Bump for HCBS

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As a result of engagement from ANCOR and members like you, 23 Democratic Senators sent a letter to Senate leadership calling for a temporary 7.35 percent increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program to shore up the program during the pandemic. Specifically, the Senators ask that a provision with the FMAP bump in the House budget bill be kept in any final COVID-19 relief package that emerges from the reconciliation process. This issue has been an ANCOR priority since spring of 2020 and we are grateful for the Senators’ support.

As written in the letter:

“Prior to this pandemic, HCBS providers were operating with limited resources and experiencing workforce challenges, such as high vacancy and turnover rates. These challenges have been further exacerbated because there has been no dedicated emergency support to meet the essential needs of older adults and people with disabilities and to stabilize the caregiving system. With an already stretched workforce, providers have worked to meet quarantine requirements while addressing the increased demand for HCBS caregiving. In addition, they have struggled to secure the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies to keep their workers and 2 those receiving services safe. More recently, the HCBS workforce and those they serve have also faced challenges accessing COVID-19 vaccinations, despite being prioritized early in the distribution process according to public health guidance. The $9.7 billion in support included in the budget instructions will help address these needs and will be a down payment to reimagining a caregiving economy that can support older adults, people with disabilities and the workforce that makes independent living possible.”

The letter has received media attention, with Politico Pulse reporting on it on Wednesday.

As the reconciliation process unfolds, we encourage you to continue to elevate this issue to your members of Congress. If you have not yet done so, please use our action tool to personalize a pre-written email to your congressional delegation asking them to support the temporary FMAP bump in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package.