Dear Members of Congress,
I am writing to ask that you deliver real solutions for moms and families now by including a $150 billion investment in Home- and Community-Based Services in an economic package this year. This would expand services to people with disabilities and older adults, reduce waiting lists, and improve job quality for the workers who provide these critical services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how important it is for families to have the option to keep their loved ones at home, given the large number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in congregate settings, including nursing homes. The American Rescue Plan included a temporary provision to increase the federal match rate for Home- and Community-Based Services by 10% to build capacity for these services. While this was a good start, much more is needed in order to address the needs of people with disabilities and the inequities that exist in long-term services and support programs across the country after decades of lack of investment in the HCBS infrastructure.
This investment in HCBS would also enable states to raise job quality (i.e. wages, benefits, access to training, and career pathways) for direct care workers, most of whom are women of color and immigrants. And it must begin to address the significant race and population-based inequities that often occur with access to HCBS.