President Biden’s speech announcing the American Jobs Plan, included a MAJOR announcement of an investment of $400 Billion to expand access to HCBS and support the direct care workforce. The plan is linked here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/ Of specific note isn’t only the size of the investment, it is also the inclusion of both services and workforce supports AND the inclusion of a permanent reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person program. There are not a lot of specifics, and The Arc will be working with Congress to figure out how we can operationalize this in legislation. We will need everyone’s support to see this important legislation becomes law. This package is expected to take until late summer/early fall to come together.
President Biden’s plan will:
Expand access to long-term care services under Medicaid. President Biden believes more people should have the opportunity to receive care at home, in a supportive community, or from a loved one. President Biden’s plan will expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) and extend the longstanding Money Follows the Person program that supports innovations in the delivery of long-term care.
Put in place an infrastructure to create good middle-class jobs with a free and fair choice to join a union. The HCBS expansion under Medicaid can support well-paying caregiving jobs that include benefits and the ability to collectively bargain, building state infrastructure to improve the quality of services and to support workers. This will improve wages and quality of life for essential home health workers and yield significant economic benefits for low-income communities and communities of color.