Long-term care providers are applauding President Joe Biden’s revised budget reconciliation package that proposes investing $150 billion in home health.
“This is an historic step to address the critical needs of older Americans and their families,” Katie Smith Sloan, LeadingAge president and CEO said in a statement Thursday.
Her comments came as Biden revealed his revised framework for the Build Back Better Act. Originally, the legislative package carried a $3.5 trillion price tag, over 10 years, and included $400 billion in home- and community-based services investments.
The updated version would cost $1 trillion. It calls for $150 billion to expand HCBS for seniors. Providers have previously said related federal investments would also trickle into the overall long-term care industry by shoring up workforce recruitment and providing wage subsidies.
LeadingAge Thursday highlighted the bill’s inclusion of $35 billion to cover hearing services through Medicare, $1 billion for direct care workforce competitive grants and $425 million to expand the Health Profession Opportunity grant.
“We can’t let up now. The number of Americans 65 and older will more than double over the next 40 years, and half of us will need long-term services and supports as we age,” Sloan said. “Without further investments in our aging services infrastructure, too many older adults will not have their basic needs met.”