Wyden, Merkley Unveil Key Legislation to Make Historic Investment in Care Economy
Legislation would expand access to home care and community supports for seniors and people with disabilities, make it easier for families to find home care, and invest in home care workers
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have introduced legislation with colleagues that would make a historic investment in home-and community-based services by expanding access to quality home care services, making it easier for families to navigate the process of making a long-term care choice, and providing good-paying jobs for caregivers.
“For too long, American families have struggled to help their mom, dad, relative or child with a disability find good quality long-term care at home,” said Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “This bill lays out a transformational investment through Medicaid that will begin to set that right so receiving good quality care in the comfort and safety of home is a real possibility. It is also critical that the workforce who provides home care receive a livable wage, and that family caregivers have more supports when they provide care to their loved ones. I will continue working with my colleagues and the President to pass this key pillar of the American Jobs Plan.”
“The support and expertise caregivers provide are crucial in keeping our loved ones with disabilities healthy and safe,” said Merkley. “That care shouldn’t be a privilege reserved for the wealthy. Especially right now, as we set out to make investments in our communities that we’ll need to thrive in the wake of this pandemic, we must work to expand access to home care services, and ensure that our caregiving heroes are paid a living wage. Passing this legislation would be an important step forward, and I will continue to look for more opportunities to help put these services within reach for more Oregonians.”
The Better Care Better Jobs Act would provide states with enhanced Medicaid funding for home and community-bases services if they carry out certain activities that will support expanding access to these services and strengthen the workforce providing them. It would also provide funding to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to carry out the bill’s programs and conduct oversight.
Along with Wyden and Merkley, the original Senate cosponsors of the Better Care Better Jobs Act are Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Martin Heinrich, D-Colo., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Pat Leahy, D-Vt., Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.