We are reprising last Friday’s action alert because the voices of providers, DSPs and the individuals and families they support in New York, Vermont and Virginia are crucial right now. If you do not live in one of those states, please share with your contacts who do!
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that the Senate’s cap for the budget reconciliation bill currently being developed that would operationalize President Biden’s priorities will be $3.5 trillion. (Editor’s note: we discuss that legislation in greater detail in the Congress section of today’s edition of Capitol Correspondence.)
While that funding pool should include the Better Care Better Jobs Act, which brings to life the $400 billion investment in the Medicaid HCBS program that President Biden requested, the prospects for that bill are tenuous because every industry is lobbying to be included. Additionally, some moderate Senators are asking for less spending overall, and we learned that Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is particularly vocal about using some of the HCBS funding for other causes. Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in his role as Chair of the Senate Committee on the Budget, are responsible for dividing this $3.5 trillion pot. This is a strategic time for their constituents to insist that the $400 billion for HCBS proposed in the Better Care Better Jobs Act be included in any budget package that moves forward. Below are the links to the action tools by state.