Aging services providers criticized a new version of the Senate Republican leadership’s Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act proposal released Wednesday, saying it does little to address the needs of older adults and their care providers. 

“When eight out of 10 COVID-19 deaths are among people 65 and older, and infections in nursing homes are breaking new records, it’s shameful to largely ignore the continued deaths and escalating danger to older adults,” LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan said. “This bill provides no real relief to older Americans.”

The proposed legislation, described by the White House chief of staff as a “skinny measure,” includes only a fraction of the $10 billion dollars needed for testing for aging services providers, LeadingAge said. It also does not include “hero pay” for workers in long-term care settings and offers nothing to address the needs of more than 750,000 older adults in Housing and Urban Development federally subsidized and privately owned housing programs

“This isn’t just skinny,” Sloan said. “It’s anemic. And when the Senate leadership justifies the bill by saying they included only the “most urgent” needs — as vulnerable adults die in record numbers — it seems that what they really mean is that older lives are expendable.”

For additional coverage, see this article.

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