Advocacy Alert! Build Back Better. Prioritize Home & Community Based Services

U.S. Senate Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: Statement by IARF President & CEO Josh Evans

August 8, 2022 by Josh Evans

“This weekend the U.S. Senate passed the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which among several important measures, extended American Rescue Plan enhanced health insurance subsidies ensuring as many as 13 million eligible Americans can maintain health insurance through the marketplace. This action will help individuals above 400 percent of the poverty level avoid costly increases to coverage on the marketplace.”

“While we congratulate the U.S. Senate on passage of this important set of measures, we’re disappointed the package did not address the longstanding needs of older Americans and persons with disabilities through investing in home and community-based services (HCBS). A centerpiece of President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, the proposed $150 billion investment in HCBS – a once in a generation investment to help individuals with disabilities live independently and increase wages & benefits for direct care staff – was not included in the negotiated bill that cleared the U.S. Senate.”

“As many as 1.5 million persons with disabilities receive federal and state funded supports from upwards of 4.5 million direct care staff. Further, thousands of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities remain on lengthy waiting lists for services, unsure when they might receive needed assistance. A significant federal investment in HCBS would mean expansion of services across the country, increased job opportunities for persons with disabilities, and a path towards livable wages for direct care staff.”

“IARF will continue to support fellow stakeholders and national coalition efforts to ensure Americans with disabilities are a priority of Congress. Although our efforts were unsuccessful now, never before have the priorities of persons with disabilities and direct care workers been as prominent in the national dialogue. We will prevail.”

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