The U.S. Capitol buildng in Washington DC at night (stock image)

Passing the Better Care Better Jobs Act would create more than 500,000 new direct care jobs and provide respite care and other paid support, and it would enable millions of family caregivers to get back to the paid workforce, according to recent analysis by Richard Frank, Ph.D., and Jonathan Gruber.

The bill would invest $400 billion into Medicaid home- and community-based services infrastructure.

According to the authors, approximately 27% of the people aged more than 65 years that require long-term services and supports fall into the bottom fifth of the income distribution, and about 30% of them have unmet LTSS needs. 

“This population is also twice as likely to use a nursing home as are people with available family. The rate is at least 1.8 times higher than those with available family,” they wrote.

The expanded eligibility for HCBS and availability of personal care services that would occur if the legislation is passed “can be expected to reduce unmet need among low-income households with no available family for care and support. It also can be expected to reduce the likelihood of nursing home entry for some of that group,” according to Frank and Gruber.

Frank is a Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. Gruber is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.