Flag flies next to upper part of Capitol Building

Home care advocates and a union representing home care workers are turning up the heat on Congress to pass legislation that would expand the home care industry and boost wages for its workers.

The Partnership for Quality Home Care and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice released the results of a public opinion poll on Tuesday that found overwhelming support for the Choose Home Care Act of 2021 which lets Medicare beneficiaries receive extended care services in their homes following a hospital stay, rather than in a nursing home. Nearly 95% of the 2,200 Medicare-eligible adults surveyed said they would prefer the option of recovering at home. 

“As Congress continues to consider the bipartisan Choose Home Care Act, it will be critical to ensure that the needs of Medicare beneficiaries and their families are being met in today’s changing healthcare landscape,” PQHH Executive Director Joanne Cunningham said in a press release. “In order to ensure more older Americans are able to recover from hospitalization in the setting they prefer and deserve, we urge lawmakers in Congress to support the Choose Home Care Act.” 

Meanwhile, The Service Employees International Union announced Tuesday it is spending $3.5 million on a national advertising blitz calling on Congress to pass the Biden administration’s Build Back Better initiative that would pump billions of dollars into home-and-community-based services, as well as the wages of personal care workers. One ad will feature a testimonial from a home care client.

Home care advocates are ratcheting up pressure for HCBS funding as congressional Democrats in both the House of Representatives and Senate cobble together pieces of the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion economic plan and a blueprint for how to pay for it. On Monday, House Democrats unveiled a $2.9 trillion proposal that would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to finance Build Back Better. That proposal has already drawn fire from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

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