Congressional latest proposal to relieve the coronavirus could help keep some seniors out of nursing homes
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The House of Representatives’ $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill contains a proposal that could help keep some seniors out of nursing homes.
The bill calls for a 7.5% increase in additional federal Medicaid matching funds – or about $ 10 billion – for home and community-based services.
The additional funding will allow states to provide additional home and community care, which could help remove more people from waiting lists and prevent them from going to nursing homes.
Additionally, the money would allow states to increase caregiver pay and support family carers, as well as provide protective equipment and training to help prevent Covid-19.
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The coronavirus law was passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday and submitted to the Senate for review. The Democratic legislature hopes to send the bill to President Joe Biden for final approval next week.
It remains to be seen whether the Senate Republicans, who have been grappling with the level of spending in the package, will adopt this proposal. No House Republicans voted for the bill.
The National Social Security and Health Care Committee, an advocacy group, welcomed the inclusion of the aid into legislation and recognized previous efforts by Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., And Frank Pallone, DN.J., for their help to add the change to the bill.
“Given the dangers of nursing homes and nursing home residents with Covid infections, this is crying out more than ever for home and community care,” said Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy for the National Committee to Ensure Social Security and Medicare.
The move is something advocacy has been pushing for since the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, according to Adcock, it was difficult to make changes, in part due to the tendency towards institutional care in the Medicaid program.
With the change, people who are already in a Medicaid-paid setting at home or in the community can continue to have a quality of life where their exposure to Covid-19 is minimal, Adcock said.
At the same time, people in nursing homes could be given the option to switch to home or community care, he said.
“Most people in need of long-term care would prefer to have it in their own home rather than being taken to a nursing home,” Adcock said.
Like all proposals in the House’s stimulus package, the change must be approved by the Senate in order for it to be implemented.
“I think it’s probably in the final bill that goes to the president’s desk,” Adcock said. “But we will continue to campaign for it in the Senate.”