In light of President Biden’s request for Congress to authorize funding for and devise policies to implement a $400 billion investment in the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program, we highlight two legislative proposals that Congress could build upon as it considers the President’s proposal:
The HCBS Access Act, led by the offices of Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would change the HCBS program from its current optional status to a mandatory Medicaid offering. These offices are soliciting feedback on the proposal. ANCOR has organized member volunteers into a work group to craft a response, which we will submit by the April 26 deadline.
An unnamed and undrafted workforce proposal for which the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee solicited preliminary ideas. The HELP Committee will begin drafting its proposal in the summer with a goal of addressing the employment crisis caused by the pandemic. ANCOR submitted initial suggestions which largely reflect recommendations from our 2017 workforce crisis report and conversations with our members over the course of the pandemic.
Additionally, we flag that the House Progressive Caucus is contemplating a proposal that would increase HCBS funding to $450 billion, a bit more than the President’s proposal. We will continue to keep our members abreast of these policy discussions and of any opportunities for advocacy as they arise.
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