The State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022

The longstanding direct support workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to closures of critically needed services and a denial of access to community-based supports.
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Capitol Correspondence - 07.28.20

Speak Up Today About Omission of HCBS Funding in Senate COVID-19 Proposal

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Yesterday evening Senate Republicans released their draft legislation as a counter-proposal to the HEROES Act, which passed the Democratic-controlled House along party margins. While the Senate proposal contained some good provisions for disability supports, we are disappointed that it did not include increased funding for Medicaid Home and Community Based Supports (HCBS). Now is the time to loudly and clearly demand Congress cease overlooking these supports!

The Ask: Use our email and call tool to ask your members of Congress to pressure their leadership to include increasing funding for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based (HCBS) Program in the final COVID-19 package as negotiations continue.

The Details on the Senate HEALS Act:

The Senate proposed the Health; Economic Assistance; Liability Protection; and Schools Act (the HEALS Act) without some key Democratic priorities such as additional assistance to states, signaling that it will be engaging in tough negotiations with the House as the chambers seek to reconcile the differences between the HEALS Act and the HEROES Act. During this time we must speak up about the absence of direct increases to Medicaid HCBS programs in the HEALS Act.

The Senate draft contains a few good provisions – see attached for a list here. However, these provisions cannot be substitutes for increased funding that would go directly to Medicaid HCBS programs such as detailed in the HEROES Act. Such increased funding is needed so that I/DD support agencies can purchase personal protective equipment, cover staff overtime and hazard pay and maintain afloat supports such as day and employment services that temporarily closed to maintain social distancing.

Please take a minute today to ask Congress to include increased HCBS funding in addition to the provisions in the HEALS Act as it negotiates as final COVID-19 package.