Luján, Heinrich Introduce Bill To Provide Historic, Permanent Investment In Home Care For Seniors, People With Disabilities
Bill would boost economy by allowing millions of family caregivers to re-enter the workforce and enabling people with disabilities to work and contribute to their communities
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are original cosponsors of legislation to expand access to home and community-based services for older adults, people with disabilities, and injured workers, while increasing pay and improving benefits for the caregivers who provide this life-sustaining care.
“New Mexico seniors and people with disabilities deserve high-quality care to live happy, healthy, independent lives. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to invest in home and community-based services for thousands of New Mexicans and provide needed support for the caregiving workforce. Our seniors, people with disabilities, and their families deserve nothing less,” said Luján.
“In New Mexico and across the country, seniors and people with disabilities grapple with accessing affordable, high-quality care. This is a struggle that so many families experience, often feeling alone and forced to make difficult life and financial decisions that no one should have to consider. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Casey and my Democratic colleagues to address the caregiving workforce crisis and ensure our loved ones have access to the care they deserve,” said Heinrich.
The Better Care Better Jobs Act would enhance Medicaid funding for home care, helping many of the over 20,000 people on waiting lists in New Mexico finally receive care in the setting of their choice, allowing them to stay active in their communities, and live independently. The legislation would provide over 4,400 more seniors and people with needed services in New Mexico.
The legislation would also strengthen the caregiving workforce, improve quality of life for families, and boost the economy by creating good-paying jobs to make it possible for families and workers alike to thrive economically. The bill would make it possible for almost 1,500 family caregivers in New Mexico to return to work and create over 700 new home care jobs in the state with raised wages for care workers.
The bill would increase payment rates to promote recruitment and retention of direct care workers, increase wages, and develop and update training opportunities. The legislation would provide support to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to conduct oversight and encourage innovation to benefit direct care workers and care recipients.
The Better Care Better Jobs Act, led by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), is cosponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).