Capitol Correspondence - 06.14.21

Highlights from Senate Hearing on HHS Budget

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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra testified to the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on his department’s fiscal year 2022 budget. Because HHS oversees the Medicaid program, we have flagged highlights from that hearing specific to Medicaid disability programs:

  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) asked about established community based and home health services. In response, Secretary Becerra shared a personal scenario of his own family and affirmed his support for home and community health options.
  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) asked how Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding could be used to address the health needs of youth. Secretary Becerra responded by emphasizing that the closer to a person’s home treatment can be, the better the rate of success. He recommended prioritizing rapid treatment with innovative resources.
  • Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) made a statement on HCBS and shared a constituent anecdote.
  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) also made a statement on HCBS, commending the opportunities for accessibility the program offers to families.

ANCOR will continue to monitor federal budget discussions for provisions of interest to the disability community and keep our members informed of any noteworthy developments.